As Albert Pujols begins the next chapter of his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the veteran slugger discussed his move in a series of tweets Monday:
"First, I would like to thank God for the opportunity he has given me to play this game. While this is not how I thought my time in Anaheim would end, I am truly grateful for the memories and friendships that have been created over the past 10 years. Thank you to my teammates and Angels fans everywhere for your support. You will always hold a special place in my heart. While everyone in the big leagues wants to compete every day, I understand roles do change and that is something I’ve accepted for the past couple of years.
"The role that Andrew Friedman and Dave Roberts have presented to me is one that I embrace. I am excited to be part of the Dodger family and want to thank Andrew, Dave and the rest of the Dodger organization for this opportunity. My goal is the same as it’s always been - to help the ballclub win a championship in 2021. I’ve seen up close just how talented this team is and I look forward to contributing."
The Dodgers announced Monday they'd signed Pujols. L.A. will be just his third team in 21 years in the majors. The 41-year-old spent 11 years with the St. Louis Cardinals and was in his 10th season with the Los Angeles Angels before being designated for assignment earlier this month.
Los Angeles will reportedly pay Pujols $432,447 for the remainder of the 2021 season, per Spotrac.
The change in role is the notable part of his agreement with the Dodgers.
Pujols reportedly made it clear to the Angels he didn't want to be a part-time player and felt he could still contribute every day, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
"He does not want to be a bench player of any kind," Angels manager Joe Maddon said. "He's got a lot of pride."
The veteran was hitting .198 with five home runs in 24 games with the Angels, starting 20 games at first base plus two at designated hitter. He likely won't get a chance to start every day with Max Muncy at first base for the Dodgers and no designated hitter in the National League.
As he said in his latest statement, however, Pujols is now ready to embrace a new role with the Dodgers.
The Dodgers are getting an experienced player with 667 career home runs on his resume while Pujols will get a chance to win a third World Series title.