SocraticGadfly: Hats off to Albert Pujols, however old he is

May 06, 2021

Hats off to Albert Pujols, however old he is

Word has just come out that the Angels will designate for assignment Albert Pujols, aka Phat Albert, aka The Machine, likely leading to his unconditional release.

Let's be honest; that IS what will happen. For anybody to seriously pick him up, it would have to be an AL team flush with money, if they can't get the Haloes to eat most the contract, and to be thin at DH, at a minimum, and maybe there and 1B both. The BoSox are fine overall at these positions. The Yankees are loaded at DH and OK at first. The Jays are solid at both. On paper, here in Texas, the stRangers and Astros could both use some degree of help, but I don't see either one shelling out money for a waivers claim, and most certainly not the Arlingtonites.

(Update: This new post discusses his possible landing spots on the MLB minimum should he clear waivers, with a second update specific to a certain team.

Update 2: I did NOT have the Dodgers on my Phat Albert dance card; my thoughts.)

That means no shot at 700 homers, and no shots at passing people like Henry Aaron, Willie Mays, Stan Musial or big-head Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez in any counting lists like career runs, RBIs, total bases, etc.

It also makes me wonder how much longer the Tigers will fish or cut bait with Miguel Cabrera, who now officially has the most onerous contract in baseball, although Stephen Strasburg may claim that distinction soon enough.

I will still remember him jacking Brad Lidge, along with the looks of Roger Clemens from the dugout and Nolan Ryan from the Astros ownership box:

That said, per the header? I have long thought he was a year older, at a minimum, than his officially stated age. (And, I'm far from alone in that. A former Marlins GM, I believe at the time that Pujols was using the Phish mainly as chum to get other teams to step up to the plate, wondered about Pujols' age back then. And, I don't doubt that Mozeliak did the same.)

And, as I said four years ago, when he first approached my "Kozma line" named after Pete Kozma? This has been looming for some time, just as happened with A-Rod and will happen some day with Miggy.

In any case, enjoy some career highlights, including his 3 HRs in a World Series game against the Rangers: 

And, hit the Pujols tag for more of my extensive writing about his career.

Because of that extensive rating, I can tell Red Satan that there's no reason to pay for its clickbait "Plus" story about whether he's the best 1B ever or not. He's not. That's  Lou Gehrig.

And, per the second graf above, I also have no need to pay to read a rhetorical question from Red Satan's pay division about whether or not this is the end of the line. It is.

Yeah, it's possible that he clears waivers AND some team then picks him up for the MLB minimum. But ... is he going to go there, when he'll likely play no more than he would have for the Angels?

Pujols says he still wants to play. The Angels essentially honored his desire after it being clear there's no room in the inn in Anaheim.

Per the top dogs in the AL?

It WOULD be weird to see him wearing RedSox togs or Rangers ones, per World Series history. Would be weird in a Stros uni, too, of course. And, following A-Rod's steps at the Pinstripes? Delicious.

And, it's only going to be the AL. He's not playing in the NL, where, except for interleague, he has to play first on a regular basis. Now, that said, I guess AL teams who really think he might have gas in the tank could get in a bidding war about the MLB minimum for his services. He HAS had a long reputation of starting slow, and a week ago, was around .240 on batting and over .700 on OPS.

Returning to St. Louis would be nice and sentimental. But, he's not going ahead of Goldschmidt, not when they also have Matt Carpenter as a cheaper backup 1B.

As for the Angels? It boils down to whether they're better with Taylor Ward in RF and Jared Walsh at !B rather than Walsh playing halfway out of position in right and Pujols at first. And, the answer is likely the former, and Pujols doesn't want to ride pine. Neither did A-Rod at his end.


daveminnj said...

So The Angels are on the hook for Pujols's entire 30M salary, or if some team signs him 30M less league minimum? That's right isn't it? Considering Cabrera's tendency towards injuries, Maybe Detroit will give Pujols a call.

Gadfly said...

Specifically, if a team claims him off waivers, yes, they're responsible for the prorated remainder of his $30M.

If Pujols clears waivers, he's available at the MLB veterans minimum, prorated for the rest of the year. The Angels own what's left of his $30M minus that fee.

As for the specifics? Boy .... even though he'd be available on the cheap, Albert joining the Tigers? Don't think I see that ... though he would be a better option than Miggy .... beyond that, the Tigers are already out of the running. They're better off looking at developing a new person at DH and seeing who they have at 1B.