Nutshell: It Appears Albert Pujols is Done
The 3X MVP and future HOF-er has slugged 667 home runs in his career
The Los Angeles Angels announced that they are designating Albert Pujols for assignment. They now have seven days to trade him or put him on waivers, at which point other teams will be able to claim him. If he goes unclaimed (which he probably will), he will be released.
It appears, unless a team feels the need to sign a 41-year-old 1B/DH whose legs and bat speed are gone. Perhaps Tony La Russa, his old manager, gets the White Sox to sign him? Maybe he signs with the Cardinals for one last hurrah? I'm not so sure; he's sporting a .694 OPS and 85 OPS+ since 2017.
If this is the end for "The Machine," what a 21-year ride it was.
The Best of his Generation
It's sad that young kids nowadays only know Albert Pujols as the lumbering Angels first baseman who produced at a so-so rate. For the first decade of his career, Pujols was as perfect a ballplayer as you could find; a man who could win a batting title and a home run title, play excellent defense, and even steal a base from time to time.
Then he signed a mega-contract with the Angels as a 32-year-old, though, and instantly started to decline.
Perhaps Albert changed his approach a bit once he arrived in Anaheim. Maybe his body started to resist him (he averaged 155 games per season across the first 11 years in his career). Whatever the reasons were, he was never the same player the instant he took off his St. Louis Cardinals jersey.
But let's not forget that Albert Pujols was the best player of the 2000s, and will go down as one of the best right-handed hitters and first basemen of all time. Whatever his next steps are, I'm sure he will dominate them as he did Brad Lidge in the NLCS.