In very shocking news, the Angels designated for assignment future Hall-of-Famer Albert Pujols on Thursday.
Angels owner Arte Moreno issued this statement in regards to the move.
“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. Albert’s 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. Since his Rookie of the Year Season in 2001, Albert and his wife Deidre have generously given their time and resources to countless charities throughout the world. We are thankful to the entire Pujols Family,”
Pujols, 41, was in the final season of his 10-year contract with the Angels. After a few productive seasons to kick off the contract, his production has drastically declined over the years, including most recently.
During his 10 seasons in LA, he appeared in 1,181 games. He hit .256/.311/.447/.758 with 222 home runs and 783 RBI. Certainly some pretty good numbers, but definitely not the kind of production the Angels were expecting. He leaves the franchise tied for fourth in home runs, fifth in RBI, and ninth in hits.
He’s currently on pace to have the worst season of his 20+ year big-league career, as he has a slash of .198/.250/.372/.622 with five home runs and 12 RBI in 24 games. Pujols has had a negative impact when he plays, as he has a bWAR of -0.5.
It’s unclear what the next step is for Pujols. He’s nowhere close to the productive player he once was, and you’d think he’d likely only stand a chance in the American League due to the DH. With over 3,200 hits and 667 career home runs, I truly hope we haven’t seen the final game of his Hall-of-Fame career.
Comments from General Manager Perry Minasian:
There’s never a right time for something like this. This is more about playing time and who we have. We have a young first baseman we’re really excited about. Albert is not a bench player. With him not getting any playing time would not do him any good or the team any good.
Our job is to evaluate this team on a daily basis. After evaluating this team for a month, we felt this is the way to go.
Albert is as motivated as he’s ever been. If the situation was different and there were at bats, it would be different. If he goes somewhere else, I wouldn’t bet against him.
Comments from Angels President John Carpino:
He’s had a lot of historical accomplishments here, which the fans cherished. It was a happy day when we signed him and yesterday’s conversation was difficult.