With only four months remaining on the 10-year, $240 million contract signed following to the 2011 season, the Angels decided to cut ties with Albert Pujols, designating the future Hall of Fame baseball person for assignment yesterday. “It’s more about opportunity,” GM Perry Minasian said of Pujols, to date, had posted an OPS 80 points below the league average in his age-41 season. “Albert is not a bench player. We felt like, for him, with respect to him, keeping him on the bench, him not getting any playing time, would not do him any good or the team any good.”
Pujols is reportedly steadfast in his desire to continue playing, but it’s hard to see a good fit for him, especially with no DH in the National League. Some speculation mentioned the White Sox as a potential landing spot, given the relationship between Pujols and Tony La Russa, but, unless Pujols is suddenly able to play the outfield, you would think the presence of Jose Abreu and Yermin Mercedes would preclude any such reunion. If I had to guess, I would say this is the end of Pujols’ long and distinguished career.
Thanks to the profitable nature of the Cubs/Cardinals rivalry, I didn’t see Pujols play in person as often as I could have during his prime, but he’s still in the top 5 of games played for non-Chicago players in my history. His numbers, both for games I attended and overall, were: