Angels' Albert Pujols Unsure If He Will Continue MLB Career Beyond 2021February 16, 2021
Heading into the final season of his contract with the Los Angeles Angels, Albert Pujols is unsure if he will continue playing beyond 2021.
Speaking to Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com (h/t The Athletic's Fabian Ardaya), Pujols said he hasn't decided if he will retire from Major League Baseball after this year.
This isn't the first time Pujols has teased retirement when his Angels contract expires.
Here's what he told ESPN's Alden Gonzalez about his playing future in May 2020:
"It's my last year under contract, but that doesn't mean I can't keep playing. I haven't closed that door. I'm taking it day by day, year by year, but you haven't heard from my mouth that I'm going to retire next year, or that it's going to be my last year, or that I'm going to keep playing. I haven't said any of that. When that time comes, we'll see. Just because you have one year left on your contract doesn't mean it's your last year. It could be, but it could not be. God hasn't put that in my heart yet."
The Angels signed Pujols to a 10-year, $240 million contract in December 2011.
His 11-season run with the St. Louis Cardinals from 2001-11 is one of the best in Major League Baseball history. The Dominican star was named to the All-Star team nine times, won three National League MVP awards and two World Series titles and hit .328/.420/.617 in 1,705 games during that span.
Pujols has been unable to replicate that performance in Los Angeles during the second half of his career. He has had some good seasons, including an All-Star appearance in 2015 and a top-20 AL MVP finish in 2014, but he's posted a .242/.291/.406 slash line since the start of 2017.
The Angels owe Pujols $30 million this season. He's split time between first base and designated hitter in recent years due to foot injuries.
Pujols and the Angels are scheduled to report to spring training this week. The team's first full-squad workout will take place on Feb. 22. They are scheduled to open the regular season on April 1 against the Chicago White Sox.