Though Albert Pujols' production is already in decline, the Los Angeles Angels are set to pay their first baseman $212 million beyond this season.
By the time his 10-year, $240-million contract expires in 2021, Pujols will be 41 years old.
But the future Hall of Famer said on Saturday that fans should not expect him to become dead weight, as Yankees fans have witnessed with Alex Rodriguez's 10-year, $275-million deal.
After hitting two home runs to bring the Angels' record to 2-3, Pujols made telling comments about his future plans.
"God has given me ability and talent, but the day I feel like I can't compete any more on this level, I'm not going to embarrass myself," Pujols said. "I'm going to walk off. Whether that's next year, two years from now, only God knows."The three-time MVP is off to another slow start, hitting .188 in his first six games. He hit .217 with no homers last April on his way to career lows in batting average, home runs, slugging percentage and on-base percentage.
Pujols didn't mean to say he plans to retire in a year or two — he still has a passion to compete and to prove people he can still play, much like he did last season, when he rebounded from a horrendous start.
"It seems like when people doubt me, I always have that chip on my shoulder to prove them wrong," Pujols said. "I've been doing that since the day I became a professional."