The Los Angeles Dodgers announced the signing of Albert Pujols for the remainder of the 2021 season. To make room for the future Hall of Fame on the 40-man roster, the club transferred Tony Gonsolin to the 60-day injured list. A second move is still required to add Pujols to the active roster.
Pujols was in the final season of a 10-year, $240 million contract with the L.A. Angels before being designated for assignment just over a week ago. The 41-year-old was said to have been frustrated over his limited playing time and coveted a larger role.
There was speculation he could pursue a reunion with the St. Louis Cardinals after clearing waivers, but instead will remain in Southern California and chase another World Series title.
Pujols’ immediate fit with the Dodgers appears to be off the bench, where he’ll receive pinch-hit opportunities and occasionally spell Max Muncy at first base.
However, with Corey Seager recently landing on the 10-day IL, Pujols could assume a larger role if Muncy shifts to second base and Lux takes over at shortstop.
Pujols batted just .198/.250/.372 with five home runs and 12 RBI in 92 plate appearances over 24 games this season. Despite his struggles, his right-handed bat will be a welcome addition to a bench that simply hasn’t produced thus far.
The Dodgers collectively have struggled against left-handed pitching as well, which is another area Pujols should bolster. In 28 plate appearances against southpaws this year, he is batting .259/.286/.593 with three home runs and six RBI.
Pujols is 33 home runs away from becoming the fourth player to hit 700 in his career. He’s already one of six players with 500-plus homers and at least 3,000 total hits, joining Hank Aaron, Alex Rodriguez, Willie Mays, Rafael Palmeiro and Eddie Murray.
Joe Maddon, Mike Trout react to Pujols signing with Dodgers
After news broke that Pujols was signing with the Dodgers, several members of the Angels shared their thoughts on the move. Mike Trout was happy that Pujols found another opportunity and manager Joe Maddon believes he’ll benefit from staying close to his family.
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