Future Hall of Fame first baseman Albert Pujols has agreed to a contract for the rest of the 2021 MLB season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Times’ Jorge Castillo reported Saturday, citing sources.
The Giants currently sit atop the division with a 23-15 record, two games ahead of the Dodgers entering Saturday.
In 24 games with the Angels this season, Pujols slashed .198/.250/.372 with five homers and 12 RBI in 92 plate appearances.
The 21-year MLB veteran was in the final year of a 10-year, $254 million contract with the Angels which ultimately was the second-biggest deal in baseball history during that era.
Pujols' fit with the Dodgers is unclear. After the Angels released him, he said he wanted to play first base every day, but Max Muncy is Los Angeles' everyday first baseman. While Muncy is hitting .243, that doesn’t exactly characterize who he is. He currently has a .934 OPS, which is second among all National League first baseman.
Pujols’ low strikeout rate could have been what caught the Dodgers' attention. Or maybe it was a scenario where Los Angeles made the best offer and was willing to allow Pujols to continue his big league career until the wheels come off.
The St. Louis Cardinals reportedly were said to have limited internal conversations about a reunion, however, The Athletic’s Katie Woo added the Cardinals had yet to contact Pujols’ camp as of Saturday morning. Pujols spent 11 seasons in St. Louis before signing the 10-year contract with the Angels.
This more than likely is Pujols’ last full season in the bigs, but he’s a sure first-ballot Hall of Famer. His resume is filled with accomplishments including 10 All-Star selections, three NL MVP honors, a batting title, two World Series rings and six Silver Slugger Awards. He currently sits in fifth place on the all-time home run list with 667.
While the news that Pujols had agreed to a contract with the Dodgers sent shockwaves through the baseball world, it's a move that is unlikely to scare the Giants.