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Albert Pujols will decide on future following 2021 season

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He hasn’t decided if he’ll be retiring yet

Los Angeles Angels v Texas Rangers Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

After a hectic and confusing week, Albert Pujols spoke with reporters on Saturday morning, addressing the rumors of his potential retirement following the 2021 MLB season, saying he hasn’t made a decision yet.

“My main focus is on this year,” Pujols said. “That decision will come at the end of the year. I know what she was trying to say, but everybody had it wrong. That’s the life we live with social media. My mind’s not even there. My mind is staying focused and staying healthy. If I feel that way at the end of the year, but I’m not there.”

Pujols’ contract is up with the Angels following the season, and his wife’s Instagram post hinted at the fact he could hang it up when the season concludes. She edited the post a number of times, but there was still confusion as to what Pujols’ plans were.

Pujols is in the final year of his 10-year contract with the Angels. His play has gone down significantly as of late. However, he said if he does plan to retire following the season, it won’t be through a social media post.

“When I’m there, I think everybody’s going to know and they’re not going to find out through Instagram,” he said. “They’ll find out in a press conference or whatever. My fans and people deserve better than just a post on Instagram.”

In 2020, Pujols split time at first base with rookie, Jared Walsh. It was a great season for the 26-year-old, who finished seventh in AL Rookie of the Year voting. He’ll likely see more playing time at the position, which will decrease the amount of time Pujols sees.

“It’s going to be a meritocracy, always,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said to reporters. “He gets it. We’ve had the conversations. Of course he wants to play and of course when he doesn’t play he might not like it. Of course. He’s wired that way. And that’s the way you want it to be. But he understands what’s going on. He accepts it well.”

News and notes

  • José Quintana will start the Cactus League Opener for the Angels on Sunday. Other names likely to pitch include Patrick Sandoval, Dillon Peters, Jacob Faria, Gerardo Reyes, Kyle Keller and Thomas Pannone.
  • LHP Packy Naughton had an MRI on his left elbow yesterday and has a Grade 1 UCL strain. He was acquired in the Brian Goodwin trade last season.