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Albert Pujols hits 500th HR

With a pair of homers off Washington Nationals pitcher Taylor Jordan, Albert Pujols became the 26th player to reach the 500 home run mark in his career. The 34-year-old Los Angeles Angels first baseman has eight homers in his past 13 games, making one wonder if he's shaken off his injury problems and returned to baseball's slugging elite.

How many years does Albert Pujols have left as an elite hitter?

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    9%
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    9%
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    34%
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    30%
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    18%

Discuss (Total votes: 20,344)

  • How many home runs will Albert Pujols (500 HR, 34 years old) hit in his career?

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      13%
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      48%
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      39%

    Discuss (Total votes: 49,036)

  • Is hitting 500 home runs in a career still a big deal?

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      65%
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      30%
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      5%

    Discuss (Total votes: 48,990)

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Denny Medley/USA TODAY Sports

Angels give Trout extension

Does Mike Trout know how good he is? The Angels signed Trout to a six-year extension reportedly worth $144.5 million -- or about $24 million per year. That's no small amount of money, but considering that Miguel Cabrera -- Trout's nemesis in the AL MVP vote the past two seasons -- is getting almost $30 million per year, it looks like a good deal for L.A. The Angels might have a lot of money tied up in the uncertain futures of Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, but with Trout, they're making a sound investment.

  • Who deserves to be the highest-paid player in baseball?

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      49%
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      30%
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      21%

    Discuss (Total votes: 201,924)

  • How surprised are you at the terms of Mike Trout's contract (six years, $144.5 million)?

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      18%
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      35%
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      47%

    Discuss (Total votes: 15,198)

  • Will the Angels ever win a World Series with Mike Trout?

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      59%
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      41%

    Discuss (Total votes: 22,072)

  • Which team will win the AL West this season?

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      33%
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      31%
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      5%
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      9%
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      22%

    Discuss (Total votes: 69,160)

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Mike Trout about to get paid?

In a sense, Mike Trout already got paid -- on Wednesday, he signed a record $1 million pre-arbitration contract with the Los Angeles Angels. But many believe this is a prelude to a much larger deal, one that is expected to land the 22-year-old outfielder $150 million over six years. And it's hard to argue Trout is not worth the money. In his first two full seasons, Trout finished runner-up in the American League MVP voting (and some would say he deserved to win both times). Would the Angels be getting a steal at that rate? Where does Trout rank among MLB's best right now?

What do you make of a deal worth six years and $150 million for Mike Trout?

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    18%
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    44%
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    38%

Discuss (Total votes: 59,547)

  • Will Mike Trout deserve to be the highest-paid player in baseball by the time of his next contract?

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      70%
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      30%

    Discuss (Total votes: 66,644)

  • Will contract discussions be a distraction for Mike Trout in 2014?

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      35%
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      65%

    Discuss (Total votes: 35,549)

  • Where does Mike Trout rank among the best players in baseball right now?

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      13%
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      53%
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      34%

    Discuss (Total votes: 133,129)

  • Which team will win the AL West?

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      31%
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      30%
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      3%
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      6%
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      30%

    Discuss (Total votes: 7,776)

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The Pittsburgh Pirates won the 2013 headlines. The Boston Red Sox won the 2013 World Series. But neither -- at the moment -- figures to be among the biggest stories of 2014. Not with the AL West packed, Alex Rodriguez's appeal still up in the air and the new commissioner to be chosen -- among many other things. Check out Buster Olney's top 10 storylines for the new year Insider and rank them according to your interest level. Simply click on the images to submit your ballot!

More Top 10 Rank 'Em's: Lineups | Rotations | Bullpens

Top 2014 MLB Storylines

AL West race

AL West race

Will the A's repeat? Will the Rangers bounce back? Or will the Angels and Mariners have something to say about it?

A-Rod resolution

A-Rod resolution

Will his 211-game suspension be upheld?

Expanded replay

Expanded replay

How much will it change the game?

Jeter's future

Jeter's future

How much does he have left?

Kershaw, Scherzer

Kershaw, Scherzer

Will the Cy Young winners and free-agents-to-be stay in their respective cities?

Mattingly's job status

Mattingly's job status

Is Don Mattingly a Dodger for good?

Milestones

Milestones

Albert Pujols could reach 500 HR (he's at 492), 1,500 RBIs (1,498) and 1,500 runs (1,425). Alex Rodriguez is closing in on 3,000 hits (2,939) and 2,000 RBIs (1,969).

New MLBPA head

New MLBPA head

What will the future be like under new leader Tony Clark?

Selig's successor

Selig's successor

Is Rob Manfred the man?

Tipping points

Tipping points

Will the Phillies, Royals, Diamondbacks and Orioles trend upward or downward?

Your Rankings

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Over the next week, Buster Olney will be ranking the 10 best in MLB in a variety of categories. He starts with the top 10 lineups. As one executive noted to Olney, "When you start looking at the projected lineups for 2014, there are not many dominant lineups. Most clubs have a couple of spots that have young players, or players returning from injuries. So almost all have a couple of questions." Click here to see Olney's top 10 Insider and submit your own ballot by clicking on the images below.

Baseball's top 10 lineups

A's

A's

Pictured: Yoenis Cespedes

Angels

Angels

Pictured: Mike Trout

Cardinals

Cardinals

Pictured: Allen Craig

Indians

Indians

Pictured: Nick Swisher

Rangers

Rangers

Pictured: Prince Fielder

Red Sox

Red Sox

Pictured: David Ortiz

Rockies

Rockies

Pictured: Carlos Gonzalez

Royals

Royals

Pictured: Alex Gordon

Tigers

Tigers

Pictured: Miguel Cabrera

Yankees

Yankees

Pictured: Jacoby Ellsbury

Your Rankings

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