Albert Pujols Rumors: Dominican Republic Eyeing Star for Olympic Qualifier

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 11, 2021

FILE - Los Angeles Angels' Albert Pujols hits a two-run home run against the Houston Astros during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Houston, in this Thursday, April 22, 2021, file photo. Pujols has been designated for assignment by the Los Angeles Angels, abruptly ending the 41-year-old superstar slugger's decade with his second major league team. The Angels announced the move Thursday, May 6, 2021, a day after Pujols wasn't in their lineup for their fourth consecutive loss.  (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

While Albert Pujols continues to look for a new Major League Baseball team, the three-time National League MVP is reportedly generating interest from his native country for the Olympics. 

Per MLB Network's Jon Morosi, the Dominican Republic has shown interest in Pujols playing for the national team as part of the upcoming Olympic qualifier.  

Los Angeles Angels general manager Perry Minasian announced Thursday that Pujols had been designated for assignment. The 10-time All-Star was in the final season of a 10-year, $253 million contract he signed with the team in December 2011. 

Deidre Pujols, Albert's wife, wrote a post on Instagram in February suggesting that the 2021 season would be the final year of her husband's career. She noted it was "not an official statement" on Albert's future. 

There are currently no indications that teams have called Pujols to gauge his interest in signing with them. The Chicago White Sox were initially brought up as a landing spot. Manager Tony La Russa, who was with the St. Louis Cardinals during Pujols' 11 years with the organization, told reporters last week that Chicago's lineup doesn't have a spot for him. 

Baseball is returning to the Summer Olympics this year for the first time since 2008. 

The Dominican Republic is among eight countries competing in the Americas qualifying event for a spot in the Tokyo Games. Its first game will be against Puerto Rico on May 31 at Clover Park in Port St. Lucie, Florida.