Should the Cardinals bring back Albert Pujols and Matt Carpenter?

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Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals bats against the Cincinnati Reds at Busch Stadium on September 3, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals bats against the Cincinnati Reds at Busch Stadium on September 3, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images) /
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The idea of the St. Louis Cardinals signing both Albert Pujols and Matt Carpenter is, admittedly, borderline crazy.   But is there a way it could work?

St. Louis is home to one of the most storied franchises in baseball history, from its 11 World Series titles that rank second behind only the (really) big-market New York Yankees to the iconic birds-on-the-bat jerseys that have changed little over the last several decades – because they look so darn good!

The Cardinals honor their history regularly, bringing back their Baseball Hall of Famers for Opening Day ceremonies, inducting their all-time best players into the Cardinals Hall of Fame, and reuniting their numerous championship teams for anniversary appearances.  And the Redbirds continue their successful history in the present, as well, having made three consecutive postseasons and enduring but a single losing campaign this millennium.

The question today is: Can St. Louis blend it past with its present, with an eye on the near-term future?  More specifically, would it be possible for the Cardinals to re-sign both first baseman/designated hitter Albert Pujols and infielder Matt Carpenter for the 2022 season and not have it blow up in their faces?

With the traditional National League setup, there’s no chance such a scenario would be feasible.  The Cardinals have one of the best corner-infield pairing in baseball, with Nolan Arenado manning the hot corner and Paul Goldschmidt diagonally opposite him.  Pujols and Carpenter wouldn’t have a prayer of unseating either of those Gold Glovers from the lineup.

But with the DH almost certainly coming to the senior circuit, there could be room for these two former St. Louis stars to share that role while filling in for their teammates from time to time.  How could that work?  Well, the range of outcomes is wide open – as your imagination needs to be, too, for this to work.

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