The Los Angeles Dodgers have signed first baseman Albert Pujols of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on Saturday according to the Associated Press. The Dodgers become Pujols’s third Major League Baseball team, as he has also played with the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Angels. Pujols was released by the Angels on May 13.
In moving to the Dodgers, Pujols will not have to leave southern California. However, the fact that the future Hall of Famer chose a National League franchise may come as a bit of a surprise. That is because, at this stage of Pujols’s career, many felt he would have been best suited to be a designated hitter, and not have to deal with the grinds of playing in the infield.
It will now be interesting to see how the Dodgers use Pujols. He could see some time at first base when manager Dave Roberts thinks Max Muncy needs some rest, but at this stage of his career at 41 years old, expect to see Pujols be used as a pinch hitter.
Pujols, who is a 10-time all-star, has had his battles offensively in 2021. He batted below the Mendoza Line for the Angels at only .198 in 86 at bats.
Over his 21-year Major League Baseball career, Pujols is the active leader in games played (2886), plate appearances (12486), at bats (10925), runs (1852), hits (3253), doubles (669), home runs (667), runs batted in (2112), walks (1334), and total bases (5955). He is 15th all-time in runs scored, 14th all-time in hits, fifth all-time in doubles, fifth all-time in home runs, third all-time in runs batted in, and fifth all-time in total bases.
Pujols is also a proven winner. He won two World Series with the Cardinals. The first title in 2006, and the second in 2011. However, he was unable to win a postseason game in his decade with the Angels.
The National League West right now is tightly contested. Los Angeles is in third place. They are one game back of the division-leading San Francisco Giants, and half a game back of the second-place San Diego Padres.