MLB legend Albert Pujols only played in 85 games for the Dodgers last season, but left an indelible mark on his Dodgers teammates. “Tío Albert” was a consummate professional and locker room leader. Now, Pujols is a free agent who can sign wherever he pleases after the MLB lockout ends.
The implementation of the universal DH vastly increases Pujols potential options. In his hay day, Pujols was a Gold Glove caliber first baseman, but those days are long gone. The 42-year-old has DH written all over him.
Predictably, rumors have circulated that Pujols could sign with the St. Louis Cardinals for a feel-good, farewell tour season.
According to The Athletic’s Katie Woo though, the chance of Pujols reuniting with longtime teammates Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright is “not high”.
“Part of the reason the front office isn’t likely to pursue an external candidate for the DH spot is that it would potentially block such players as Gorman and Juan Yepez, and even fourth outfielder Lars Nootbaar, to an extent.”
As a member of the Dodgers last year, Pujols memorably homered in his first at-bat against the Cardinals after receiving a standing ovation from the Busch Stadium crowd.
Clearly, the Cardinals fans have no reservations about bringing back the franchise icon in 2022.
In 2021, Pujols struggled against right-handed pitching (.180 BA), but thrived against southpaws (.939 OPS).
Pujols returning to the Dodgers wouldn’t be a surprise, but apparently, coming back to the Cardinals is a bridge too far.
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