Albert Pujols will forever be a St. Louis Cardinals legend, but it is apparently still a "long shot" the National League Central leaders will bring him back now that he is a free agent.
On Friday, Katie Woo of The Athletic reported "the Cardinals have had limited internal conversations about bringing" back Pujols but have not reached out to him. Woo said such a signing "still appears to be a long shot."
Pujols is a free agent after the Los Angeles Angels designated him for assignment last week and released him Thursday when he cleared waivers.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the future Hall of Famer was frustrated with manager Joe Maddon.
"By the time the day was over, Pujols was yelling at manager Joe Maddon, telling president John Carpino and GM Perry Minasian that he wasn't going to retire, insisting he did not want to spend the rest of the season on the bench and blasting Maddon's managerial skills," Nightengale wrote.
For his part, Maddon said that was not the case, per Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times.
Pujols was much better during his time with the Cardinals (2001-2011) than he was for the Angels (2012-2020). Nine of his 10 All-Star selections came with St. Louis, as did his three MVP Awards, two Gold Glove Awards and two World Series titles.
He slashed .328/.420/.617 with 445 home runs and 1,329 RBI during his time with the Cards as one of the best players of his generation. He slashed .256/.311/.447 with 222 home runs and 783 RBI with the Angels.
Pujols sported a .198 batting average this season and is 41 years old, so any team that signs him won't get the player who dominated the sport for so long.