Tony La Russa: Albert Pujols 'Unfortunately' Not a Fit with White Sox After Release

Blake SchusterContributor IMay 7, 2021

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Albert Pujols will not be reuniting with Tony La Russa on the Chicago White Sox.

One day after the Los Angeles Angels stunned baseball fans by designating the future Hall-of-Famer for assignment, his former manager with the St. Louis Cardinals said there's no room for him on the south side. 

James Fegan @JRFegan

“There’s not a fit here, unfortunately” said Tony La Russa of Albert Pujols.<br><br>La Russa said he speaks to Pujols regularly, and that Pujols believes he still has baseball left, so he believes him. He thinks any team that lands him will get a very determined Albert Pujols.

"We have Jose [Abreu] and Yermin [Mercedes] and even if Yermin gets a little less hot, it's a good way to maneuver that DH and get other guys off their feet," La Russa explained to reporters Friday. "There's not a fit here, unfortunately."

Pujols, 41, is slashing .198/.250/.372 this season with five home runs and 12 RBI in 24 games.

That's not to say the White Sox don't have openings on the roster at the moment. Following injuries to outfielders Luis Robert (hip) and Eloy Jimenez (shoulder)—which may end up keeping both out for the remainder of the season—Chicago is low on power hitters in the lineup, but adding Pujols doesn't solve the issue unless he can turn into an outfielder 21 years into his career. 

The Sox also have a long history of adding established All-Stars at the tail end of their careers, kicking the Pujols rumors into high gear nearly as soon as he was released. 

Adam Dunn, Ken Griffey Jr., Bo Jackson, John Kruk, Andruw Jones, Kenny Lofton, Jose Canseco, Manny Ramirez and Albert Belle each found themselves wearing the black and white before shortly before their careers ended. 

Pujols makes sense from that standpoint, but with Chicago just entering its championship window, placing the former Cardinals great on the roster creates more problems than it solves. 

La Russa put an end to that talk early on Friday. If Pujols does continue playing in Major League Baseball, it won't be for the Sox. 


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