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Pujols: Cardinals' handling of talks led to '12 exit

A reflective Albert Pujols says it was the way the Los Angeles Angels showed they cared that led him to join the team seven years ago.

Pujols addressed his 2012 decision to sign with the Angels over the St. Louis Cardinals in an interview on "In Depth with Graham Bensinger," which is airing in syndication this weekend. During the interview, recorded in spring training, Pujols told Bensinger that he didn't appreciate the way the Cardinals handled negotiations at the time.

"I felt that the approach that they took wasn't showing me that they wanted me to be a longtime Cardinal," Pujols said, adding, "I believe I made the right decision."

Following the Cardinals' 2011 World Series title, Pujols joined the Angels on a 10-year, $254 million contract, more than the $210 million the Cardinals were offering for the same number of years. Pujols also said he had a big offer from the Miami Marlins that he turned down.

But Pujols acknowledged to Bensinger how hard it was to leave St. Louis.

"Oh yeah, I don't want to lie to you, it was," Pujols said. "Half of your life pretty much you're in that city. The fans. Your dream is to try to only finish in one uniform and be the Derek Jeter. But you know what, man? This game has changed."

Pujols' decision hasn't come with much success on the field for the Angels, though. Despite being paired with two-time American League MVP Mike Trout, Los Angeles has just one playoff appearance (2014) in the past seven seasons. Pujols has also dealt with a number of injuries.

Pujols, 39, is hitting .241 with one home run and two RBIs in nine games this season. He is set to play in St. Louis for the first time since 2011 when the Cardinals host the Angels June 21-23.

"It's hard, but I'm pretty sure there's going to be some tears," Pujols said. "It's going to be a really emotional weekend."