The Angels announced the decision this afternoon that just a month into the final year of Pujols’ 10-year, $253 million deal that the organization would release him. The move will bring the 41-year-old’s underwhelming run in Los Angeles to a close.
“The Angels Organization proudly signed Albert Pujols in 2011, and are honored that he has worn an Angels jersey for nearly half of his Hall of Fame Career,” Angels owner Arte Moreno said in a statement. “Albert Pujols’ historical accomplishments, both on and off the field, serve as an inspiration to athletes everywhere, and his actions define what it means to be a true Superstar.”
A report from USA Today’s Bob Nightengale helped to provide context why the decision came on Thursday. According to the MLB insider, Pujols wanted to be let go if he was going to see his playing time reduced. After struggling through his first 86 at-bats of the year, the Angels decided to honor his request and move on from the future Hall of Famer.
“Albert Pujols wanted to be released if his playing time was going to be greatly reduced by the Angels. He will get his wish. The Angels notified Pujols that he will be officially released today, as Feinsand reported,” Nightengale tweeted on Thursday.
Albert Pujols wanted to be released if his playing time was going to be greatly reduced by the #Angels. He will get his wish. The #Angels notified Pujols that he will be officially released today, as @Feinsand reported.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) May 6, 2021
Since he landed in Los Angeles, Pujols has struggled to meet the expectations of his massive deal. After putting his historic numbers in the first half of his career with the St. Louis Cardinals, he made just one All Star team with the Angels.
Now that Pujols’ time in Los Angeles has come to an end, it’s unclear what he’ll do next. Through 24 games in 2021, he’s hit just .198 and has only five home runs.
At 41, time will if Pujols will generate interest from teams around MLB and if he can find a spot to continue his incredible career.