Albert Pujols ready to ‘see what’s out there’ in 2022

Sports

Los Angeles Dodgers’ Albert Pujols tips his tap to cheering fans as he steps up to bat during the first inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

ST. LOUIS- A little more than a year has passed since an Instagram post from his wife Deirdre suggested that 2021 was going to be it for Albert Pujols in a major league uniform. The post was quickly cleaned up to walk retirement talk back, but a lot has happened since then.

The former St. Louis slugger was released by the Angels during the season and signed less than two weeks later with the Dodgers for the remainder of the year. With a strategic eye on his usage, Pujols showed he can continue to hit big-league pitching, especially from lefthanders. He even did a commercial for Marvel Entertainment, talking about retirement with basketball player Sue Bird and football Hall of Famer Peyton Manning.

But will there be an encore on the field somewhere in 2022?

In a Spanish language interview released Thursday that appears to have been recorded early last month while Pujols was in the Dominican Republic, he indicated he is ready to “see what’s out there” as far as a chance to continue his career.

Pujols is a free agent and would not be eligible to sign until owners and the Players Association reach a deal on a new collective bargaining agreement. Until then, owners have locked out players.

The new deal is widely expected to include a universal designated hitter, which would expand Pujols’ pool of potential teams. His time playing in the field has been cut back in recent years as injuries have impacted his ability to play defense.

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