Yeah, I’m trying to still figure this whole thing out as well.
So, there was a bit of a news dump today, as Jorge Castillo of the LA Times reported that the Dodgers and Albert Pujols agreed to a major-league contract. No seriously, here’s the tweet.
BREAKING: The Dodgers and future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols are in agreement on a major-league deal for the remainder of the season, per source.— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) May 15, 2021
Hold on, what?
This certainly come out of left field. I’m talking, outside of Dodger Stadium and maybe in like the mountains, somewhere around there.
This comes as a huge surprise, as Pujols essentially wanted to leave the Angels because he wanted to play every day. Well, I don’t think he’ll be playing every day in Los Angeles. Max Muncy is the every day first baseman, and without the DH, there really isn’t a role for Pujols anywhere.
I think he’s a great bat off the bench and will be a great presence in the clubhouse for sure, but my goodness is this some shocking information.
These are my immediate thoughts. I’ll update the post with more information as we learn more.
Here are more tweets from other reporters confirming the news.
First baseman Albert Pujols is in agreement on a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, sources tell ESPN. First with the news was @jorgecastillo.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) May 15, 2021
Can confirm, as @jorgecastillo reported, that the Dodgers and Albert Pujols are in agreement on a major league deal. Would appear to be a part-time role, but Max Muncy has versatility at 2B and 3B, which could open up at-bats. And Dodgers could use help vs. LHs.— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) May 15, 2021
Okay, I’ve calmed myself down. This news is officially real. And, I actually don’t hate it. The Dodgers really could use a right-handed bat off the bench. No disrespect to Luke Raley, DJ Peters and Sheldon Neuse, but they haven’t looked MLB ready yet. Those three players have a combined -0.6 bWAR and are hitting about .180.
Meanwhile, Pujols has actually been pretty decently over the years against left-handed pitching.
Here’s his lash against lefties in 2021: .259/.286/.593/.878
And here’s his slash against lefties in 2019: .261/.315/.515/.830
Those numbers won’t blow your mind or anything, but they’re not awful. If he can produce those kinds of numbers against LHP’s, I’ll take that.
He’s a solid bat off the bench, and still has home run power as he has 11 home runs over his last 60 games (that’s a full-season pace of 30 home runs). Plus, if Pujols starts at first base you can move Muncy over to 2B or 3B and give guys days off.
So, I get the shock and the confusion, but I actually can get behind this move a little. I’m still pretty damn shocked though.