Prior to the season, there were rumors – kicked off mostly by a misunderstanding of a social media post by his wife – that this year, the last of his contract with the Los Angeles Angels, would be the final season of Albert Pujols’ Hall of Fame career. He denied that was the plan, but the reality was that once this contract was up, most figured that was going to be that for a guy who’d long been in a steep decline.
But did the Angels just move up his timeline?
The Los Angeles Angels are releasing future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols today, per sources. Pujols is in the final year of his 10-year, $253 million contract.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) May 6, 2021
I would hope that was something discussed with Pujols, who’ll still get his money, but who also was signed on to a long-term personal services contract with the Angels for after his playing days. A surprise release – if this were one – could be a thorny issue.
Pujols, who hasn’t been an above-average hitter in five years, is hitting just .198/.250/.372 on the season, so it’s not as if his performance doesn’t justify the release. Moreover, at 41, you can’t really project a bounce-back. So now, who knows what happens. He might call it a career without any kind of farewell tour. Maybe he’ll sign a one-day contract with the Cardinals?
UPDATE: Confirmation from the team:
Angels owner Arte Moreno on Pujols’ accomplishments: pic.twitter.com/GaTL73EMvB
— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) May 6, 2021