LOS ANGELES – Albert Pujols is moving 30 miles north on Interstate 5 and jumping leagues.
After spending more than 9 seasons with the Angels in Anaheim, the slugger is joining the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to multiple reports. LA Times beat writer Jorge Castillo was the first to report the news.
Cardinals fans will have at least one final chance to see Pujols in Busch Stadium. The Dodgers are scheduled to visit St. Louis from September 6 through September 9. He last played at Busch in June 2019 and received a returning hero’s ovation.
Pujols signed a 10-year contract with the Angels in 2011 after winning the World Series with the Cardinals. The Angels designated Pujols for assignment on May 6. He cleared waivers on May 13.
“He wants to play, and he wants to be in the field,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said last week. “Hopefully he’s going to get that opportunity somewhere else, and believe me, we’re all going to be rooting for him.”
At the beginning of the season, there was a brief social media storm when Pujols’ wife suggested that he would, in fact, retire at season’s end. The family backed off the idea soon after.
Pujols, 41, may have a few statistical achievements on his mind. He sits 33 home runs short of becoming the fourth player ever to hit 700 in a career. At 3,253 career hits, if he produced the same number of hits as his last full season in 2019 when he had 120, he would leap over Paul Molitor and sit in tenth place on the all-time list.