Albert Pujols is unlikely to sign with the St. Louis Cardinals for a multitude of reasons, mainly because he’s strictly a designated hitter at this point of his career.
After Albert Pujols became a free agent last season, he was immediately linked to the St. Louis Cardinals. The connection, of course, was obvious: he had spent 11 seasons with the organization and will one day be inducted into the Hall of Fame donning a Cardinals hat.
But Pujols signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers and now that he’s a free agent again, his name has been brought up with the Cardinals. But Katie Woo of The Athletic reports that Pujols is unlikely to sign in St. Louis, with the organization preferring to fill the designated hitter role internally.
As reports have surfaced about the organization’s desire to fill the DH spot internally, a Pujols reunion has always felt unlikely. Besides, any player that the Cardinals add from outside the organization to compete at DH will have to have some sort of defensive versatility, and at this stage of his career, he is strictly a DH who has the ability to play first base when facing left-handed pitchers.
It’s why the Cardinals have been connected to Colin Moran, who has defensive versatility (can play first and third bases) and has some pop (10 homers in 99 games). He makes much more sense than Pujols – he can be the top backup at numerous defensive positions – and comes with upside, while Pujols is trending downward in his career and likely only has one year left before he retires.
From a nostalgia standpoint, signing Pujols would be really fun. Having him go out with Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina, who he came up in baseball with and are likely to go in the Hall of Fame with him, would be a storybook ending for each of their careers. But the Cardinals are in the business of winning a championship, and signing Moran, or any other versatilite defensive player with offensive upside, will give the Cardinals a better chance of doing so.
Signing Pujols isn’t impossible, but the chances are so minimal that it can almost entirely be ruled out.