In the final year of his ten year pact that he inked following his 2011 World Series championship, 3x NL MVP Albert Pujols is being released by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim despite commanding $30M in the 2021 season, at least according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.
In what was once the third-richest deal in MLB history (now the eighth, behind players such as Nolan Arenado and Mike Trout), it was rather unceremonious yet historic for Pujols. As his Angels time comes to an end, he’s hit over 200 homeruns in both leagues, collected his 3000th hit and 600th homerun and was elected to his ninth All-Star game. Overall though, his accomplishments are the only thing that have been achieved. The Angels have been to the playoffs one time in Albert’s tenure, a far cry from Albert’s postseason dominance with the St. Louis Cardinals in what was the greatest statistical ten year stretch in MLB history. Since the 2016 season, Pujols has had a below average .715 OPS with a .247/.298/.418 slashline, far different from the .312/.397/.581 slashline from his first fifteen seasons. Over the first decade and a half, Pujols recorded 2666 hits and 560 homeruns, whereas he’s only recorded 587 hits and 107 homeruns.
The 42 year old slugger has a .622 OPS to coincide with his .198 batting average so far in 2021. Pujols does still have his power, hitting five homeruns so far to bring his career total to 667, fifth all-time. Albert Pujols has 3251 lifetime basehits. In August, I did a piece breaking down the statistical excellence of his career.
It’s unknown what kind of market there’d be for a player with the acumen of Pujols. Despite the obvious decline, Pujols still can sell tickets chasing history and by his name, while also helping younger players develop and provide pop off of the bench. Perhaps, he could go to St. Louis and retire at home to end the season and his career? Maybe, he could even expedite his retirement. PSE will keep you updated on the story.
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