11:38am: Heyman now reports that there’s not “a lot traction” on a possible Cardinals-Pujols reunion.
10:01am: Legendary slugger Albert Pujols turned a free agent Thursday, one week after the Angels designated him for task, and the primary baseman is now garnering curiosity from a couple of groups. Three to 4 golf equipment are in on Pujols, Robert Murray of FanSided experiences. St. Louis is a part of that group, in accordance with Jon Heyman of MLB Network. Katie Woo of The Athletic tweeted Friday that the workforce has “had restricted inside conversations” a few attainable deal for Pujols. Nevertheless, Woo added that the Cardinals had but to contact Pujols’ camp.
Whereas Woo suggests the Cardinals are unlikely so as to add Pujols, doing so would make for a compelling story. Pujols, after all, spent the primary 11 seasons of his profession (2001-11) in St. Louis, the place he turned a franchise icon and helped the workforce to a pair of World Collection championships. On a person stage, Pujols earned 9 All-Star nods, gained three Nationwide League Most Invaluable Participant Awards and the NL Rookie of the 12 months, amongst many different accolades.
Pujols’ fruitful run with the Cardinals ended heading into the 2012 marketing campaign, when he inked a 10-year, $254MM contract with the Angels. It was the second-largest deal in baseball historical past on the time, although the Angels didn’t get sufficient bang for his or her buck after taking the danger. Pujols’ manufacturing declined considerably with the Halos, and relationship again to 2017, he ranks second to final amongst 2,278 certified place gamers in fWAR (minus-3.3). Throughout that 1,934-plate look span, the 41-year-old has additionally notched a meager 84 wRC+, which is a far cry from his exemplary lifetime mark (142).
When it comes to bottom-line manufacturing, this season has been extra of the identical for Pujols, proprietor of a .198/.250/.372 line (74 wRC+) with 5 residence runs in 92 journeys to the plate. However Pujols has at the very least proven some encouraging indicators, together with a usually low strikeout fee (14.1 %) and his highest common exit velocity since 2016 (90.5 mph). Pujols can be sporting a career-worst .176 batting common on balls in play, although that’s not essentially stunning for somebody devoid of velocity. Nonetheless, if that quantity will increase and his .270 weighted on-base common strikes nearer to his .347 anticipated wOBA, Pujols might maybe function a helpful bat/veteran chief for a membership prepared to take an opportunity on somebody with 667 residence runs on his resume.