St. Louis Cardinals: Albert Pujols backs Nolan Arenado

JUPITER, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 28: Nolan Arenado #28 of the St. Louis Cardinals in action in the second inning against the Washington Nationals in a spring training game at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on February 28, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
JUPITER, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 28: Nolan Arenado #28 of the St. Louis Cardinals in action in the second inning against the Washington Nationals in a spring training game at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on February 28, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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As a Nolan Arenado trade to the St. Louis Cardinals gained traction, he sought guidance from a friend who just so happens to be a St. Louis icon.

Arenado talked to Albert Pujols, who spent 11 years with the Cardinals. He hit .328 while averaging 40 homers a year before signing with the Los Angeles Angels after the 2011 season. When he retires, and there have been indications that it could come once his contract expires after this season, it would end a career that will likely end with Pujols being a first ballot Hall of Famer.

But even though Pujols is not with the Cardinals, his ties to the city and organization remain strong. And when he talked to Arenado, he expanded on those experiences and shared how special his time in St. Louis was.

“I told (Nolan Arenado), ‘If that deal goes down, you better not miss that opportunity. You’re going to love it. You’re never going to see anything like it,’” Pujols said, via USA Today. “I’m just so happy for him since he’s such a cool dude. Cardinals Nation is going to fall in love with that kid. I hope he tears it up out there. Hopefully he doesn’t put too much pressure on himself. The fans know what kind of player he is.”

The kind of player Arenado is, simply, is a generational talent. He is arguably the best all-around third baseman in baseball. He has won a Gold Glove in each of his nine major-league seasons. He has hit 30+ home runs in most seasons. His addition to a Cardinals lineup has singlehandedly changed the narrative of their offseason, and puts them in the World Series picture.

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His addition did not need any justifying, of course. But having someone of Pujols’ caliber backing you up and giving such a strong endorsement will only increase the buzz surrounding Arenado.