It’s been 11 long years, but it’s finally happened.
Albert Pujols has returned to the St. Louis Cardinals!
The Cardinals are finalizing a one-year deal to bring Pujols back to St. Louis, according to Derrick S. Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Just two weeks ago, it was reported that the Cardinals were considering such a move. But club chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. seemed to throw some cold water on that idea, saying “we’ve got most of our club pretty well set.”
Pujols was drafted by the Cardinals in 1999 and made his MLB debut with the club in 2001. Over 11 seasons from 2001 through 2011, he hit 445 home runs and put up an incredible .328/.420/.617 for a wRC+ of 167.
Along with superstars such as Yadier Molina, Scott Rolen, Jim Edmonds, Adam Wainwright, and Chris Carpenter, Pujols and the Cardinals were constant contenders in the National League, winning the World Series both in 2006 and 2011.
Following his outstanding tenure with St. Louis, he was signed by the Angels to a ten-year, $254MM deal covering the 2012-2021 seasons. Pujols continued to hit at a level above the league average for the first five years of that deal, though a few notches below what he did as a Cardinal.
Statistically, things only got worse for Pujols. He hit just .242/.291/.406 from 2017 to 2020, producing a wRC+ of just 84. After 24 games last year, with just a few months remaining on the contract, the Angels released him. After signing with the Dodgers, Pujols hit .254/.299/.460, a wRC+ of 101.
Stay tuned to Interstate 70 Sports Media for more on this developing story.