As soon as the Los Angeles Angels somewhat surprisingly, albeit unceremoniously, released future first-ballot Hall-of-Famer Albert Pujols with just a few months left on his deal, I expected him to return to St. Louis – if only to retire, officially, as a Cardinal. And as recently as this morning, rumors of the Cardinals interest did exist.
But just a few hours later, Pujols has reportedly found a new home in the same city. Welcome back to the National League, old-timer.
BREAKING: The Dodgers and future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols are in agreement on a major-league deal for the remainder of the season, per source.
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) May 15, 2021
The fit with the Dodgers is suspect, ESPECIALLY without the designated hitter spot available, but, again, this deal will allow him to stay in Los Angeles *and* it puts him on a clear contender (if not the best team in MLB) for what figures to be the final few months of his career.
In terms of the best ways to go out, this would be a close second to returning to the Cardinals … if the Cardinals were as good as the Dodgers and also St. Louis was Los Angeles. Other than that though, basically the same thing.
Pujols is slashing .198/.250/.372 (74 wRC+) this season, after posting a 224/.270/.395 (77 wRC+) slash last season. He hasn’t been an above-average hitter by wRC+ since 2016. But he did have 5 homers already in just 92 plate appearances.