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Albert Pujols, Dodgers Agree to 1-Year Contract After Release from Angels

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist

Los Angeles Angels' Albert Pujols bats against the Houston Astros during the eighth inning of a baseball game Friday, April 23, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Dodgers have added veteran slugger Albert Pujols on a one-year contract, the team confirmed Monday.

To make room on the roster, Tony Gonsolin was added to the 60-day IL with a shoulder injury, per Los Angeles.

Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times first relayed word of the agreement on Saturday. Castillo reported Monday is that the "word" is Pujols will wear number 55 with the team.

Pujols was designated for assignment by the Los Angeles Angels just 24 games into the 2021 season, the final year of his 10-year, $240 million contract initially signed in 2011.

Per Spotrac, the Dodgers will pay just $420,000 for the rest of the season for Pujols, while the Angels will be on the hook for the rest of his $30 million salary from his previous contract. 

The 41-year-old hit .198 to begin the year, although he did have five home runs in April to showcase the power that has been on display throughout his career and sees him ranked fifth in MLB history with 667 career home runs.

He also ranks third all-time with 2,112 RBI to go with 3,253 career hits, making him a surefire Hall of Famer when eligible. With 10 All-Star selections, three MVP awards, a Rookie of the Year Award and two World Series titles, few players can match his resume.

Pujols was especially dominant during his first 11 years with the St. Louis Cardinals, producing a .328 batting average in that stretch with at least 30 home runs in each year.

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The first baseman and designated hitter slowed down when he got to Los Angeles, hitting just .256 in his decade with the team. Over the last five years, Pujols has a .240 average with a .289 on-base percentage and has failed to top 23 home runs in any single season.

A new location could give Pujols a chance to resurrect his career, or at least add some valuable production and depth to the Dodgers lineup. The reigning World Series champions already have one of the top offenses in the majors, entering Saturday ranked third in runs scored, but they still sit just third in the NL West standings.

Look for Pujols to share time at first base with Max Muncy while also getting plenty of at-bats in pinch-hitting situations.

Although 700 home runs might be out of reach this season, he can put himself closer to the milestone with a strong finish to 2021.

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