Albert Pujols became a free agent Thursday, one week after the Angels designated him for assignment. No team opted to trade for the 41-year-old first baseman/DH or claim him off waivers.
The question is: Will a team bite and sign him now that he’s free to go anywhere?
Evidently, there is interest.
According to FanSided’s Robert Murray, three or four teams are “in” on Pujols.
There are 3-4 teams in on free-agent first baseman Albert Pujols. The 41-year-old, recently released by the Los Angeles Angels, has indicated that he wants to continue playing.
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) May 14, 2021
It would make sense that Pujols would be of interest to some clubs. Though his batting average was just .198 before his release, he did have five home runs, which brought his career total to 667. The future Hall of Famer can still provide power and would be an ideal clubhouse fit as a mentor.
Murray’s report leads to another question: Are the Cardinals one of the teams with interest? Early speculation included St. Louis as a possible destination for Pujols, who spent the first 11 years of his career with the Cardinals. But Katie Woo of The Athletic reported Friday that St. Louis signing Pujols “appears to be a long shot.”
The Cardinals have had limited internal conversations about bringing back Albert Pujols,a free agent as of yesterday, I’m told. Nothing definitive. They have not reached out to Pujol’s camp. But it is a topic they have conversed internally about. Still appears to be a long shot.
— Katie Woo (@katiejwoo) May 14, 2021
It makes sense that the Cardinals would be hesitant, considering that Paul Goldschmidt is entrenched as their everyday first baseman. As SN’s Ryan Fagan detailed, Goldschmidt doesn’t take many days off so it would be difficult for St. Louis to give Pujols sufficient playing time.
That said, Pujols would be a positive clubhouse presence and he is a beloved St. Louis figure, so never say never.
Still, at this point it seems as if Pujols would be a better fit for another club. He also could consider playing for his native Dominican Republic and help it qualify for this year’s Summer Olympics.
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