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Dodgers: Albert Pujols Will Not Be Chasing Personal Accolades in 2022



Current free agent Albert Pujols has had a magnificent career. Pujols has been an icon of the game and his spot in Cooperstown is likely already reserved. Last year, the Dodgers signed Pujols after he was waived by the Orange County Angels. He made an impact on and off the field for LA.

Pujols appears open to playing at least one more season. If Tío Albert does play in 2022, it won’t be to chase personal accolades according to Dodgers third base Dino Ebel. Ebel, who has a close relationship with Pujols dating back to their Angels days, had this to say:

“He’s never said anything to me about chasing 700 home runs. I think he’s 21 shy of 700. That’s probably one if his goals if he decides to come back, but if he does, it’s going to be strictly helping a team win a championship because I still think he’s hungry to win his third championship. That’s how I feel.”

Ebel had his math right. Pujols is fifth all-time with 679 career home runs. 21 more home runs would make Tío Albert just the fourth player to ever reach the 700 home run milestone.

Another season for Pujols won’t solely be a retirement tour. He was a valuable hitter against left-handed pitching for the Dodgers in 2021. The six-time Silver Slugger posted a .939 OPS against southpaws between his time with the Dodgers and Angels. 

Pujols can still hit, even if it’s just against lefties.

An interesting wrinkle that Ebel brought up during his interview on AM570’s Dodger Talk was the possibility of the universal-DH. A universal-DH could create more opportunities for playing time for the 21-year veteran.

“I think he can help a team, especially if there’s a DH in both leagues, maybe he will give it one more shot.”

Make no mistake, if Pujols does come back for one final season, it will be to help a team win a championship, not personal glory.

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Written by Eric Eulau

Born and raised in Ventura, not "Ven-CH-ura", California. Favorite Dodger Stadium food is the old school chocolate malt with the wooden spoon. Host of the Dodgers Nation 3 Up, 3 Down Podcast.

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  1. He has two Championships, MVP, etc. Pujols wants, no, needs to get the 700 hr mark because to get so close and miss out on such a feat would be a regret/nightmare for the rest of his life. Whichever team signs him needs to accept this as a point of emphasis, and one which they’ll need to adjust to ensure he gets it. How many at-bats can be sacrificed to his striking out, get thrown out by the right-fielder at first base, taking away the DH spot from a better hitter who can score from 2nd base, possibly beat out a bunt or slow grounder, or in the hole, not get doubled-up, because any of those by Pujols is a sure out and inning or rally ender? I wouldn’t sign Pujols to make his HR mark as much as I wouldn’t sign Kershaw simply to have him be a Dodger for his entire career. I need more than emotional reasons to retain/resign a player because that player needs his production to be seen on the scoreboard. The Dodgers have more than enough ’emotional hugging’ on the team and Pujols’ hugging is nice, but not valuable enough to say a must-have/need to win.

    • I think “tio Albert” would a be a great contributor to a championship team if he slims down and gets in better shape. He needs to re dedicate himself to getting fit.

    • Having managed baseball/softball for 24 years it always comes down to 3 elements for success (Good Pitching, Solid Defense & Timely Hitting)! Whether as a DH or as a Pinch Hitter Pujols provides the third Element on a more than regular basis which includes sacrifice flies to move or score runners, seeing eye singles or doubles to the gaps not to mention the stress he puts on other teams pitching staff!! As a backup 1st baseman Pujols can still hold his own & rest for Muncy will be key to keeping him fresh for the playoffs!!! I Would Sign Albert Pujols for those reasons & every time he does something positive in the game my Eyes Tear Up which is just an added bonus for the Respect & Appreciation I have for him!!!!

  2. “miss out on such a feat would be a regret/nightmare for the rest of his life.”

    So much for the BS title “Albert Pujols Will Not Be Chasing Personal Accolades in 2022”

    ————————–
    “because to get so close and miss out on such a feat would be a regret/nightmare for the rest of his life. Whichever team signs him needs to accept this as a point of emphasis”

    Sure hope its not LA. I want LA to win in 2022, not flatter a player that was good many years ago, and will be remembered as a great Cardinal. I understand why St Louis would get mileage out of signing him, but LA?????? No way.

    Taking a roster slot, from a deserving, superior player, for the main purpose of padding the stats of a soon to be retired Cardinal, would be cheating Dodger fans that want the front office to do everything possible to win a ring.

    I’m a Dodger fan. Not a Cardinal fan. Not a Pujols family member. Not a fool.
    I believe the front office to be the same. They certainly are paid to be such.

  3. pujols played great for the dodgers last year. but he looked like he was slowing down at the end. great hitter in his career though. foot speed going up the line is a liability. clutch bat for a long time . solid career. hes starting to get a little bit too old though and hes having more off days hitting although hes getting alot of days off to rest up. cant deny hes a great player. but hes just about done and you need young talent with foot speed for low cost production. hes probably got a few hits left in his bat and pad his stats. some team might sign him for the minimum one last time. but the next time the performance takes a dip he could get released and not re-signed anymore. but hes been a great player with a fantastic career.

  4. He seemed to be a great locker room and dugout presence, I’d take him for another 1 year at minimum . Thi should not cost so much as to take away a Kris Bryant or SP

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