Cardinals News: St. Louis in agreement with Albert Pujols
The St. Louis Cardinals are in agreement with free-agent slugger Albert Pujols and wow, it cannot be scripted better than this.
Free-agent slugger Albert Pujols and the St. Louis Cardinals are in agreement on a one-year contract, pending physical, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
This is a stunner. All signs pointed to Pujols playing elsewhere or even calling it a career, as there was limited interest throughout the league. But Pujols and the Cardinals’ front office, led by president of baseball operations John Mozeliak, began having extensive talks earlier this week to the point where significant progress was made toward a potential deal.
Now, Pujols returns to St. Louis, and will be able to retire alongside his longtime teammates and friends Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright. Talk about a storybook ending. You could not have scripted it better than this.
But the Cardinals are not signing Pujols because of nostalgia. They expect him to help their club, and it will come in the form of the designated hitter position. Had it not been for the universal DH being implemented, such an addition would not have happened, especially with Paul Goldschmidt entrenched at first base.
But Pujols now becomes the leader in the clubhouse for the majority of the at-bats against left-handed pitching. The Cardinals can then give the majority of at-bats against right-handed pitching to the newly signed Corey Dickerson. There are also young options such as Nolan Gorman, Lars Nootbaar and Juan Yepez on the bench and/or in their farm system.
It gives new manager Oli Marmol something he has long craved: options. And boy, does he have a lot of them, and it will allow him to get creative in constructing lineups and with late-game scenarios. This is also the Cardinals organization giving Marmol every opportunity to succeed this season and now, with Pujols in town, what was already a special season in St. Louis just was ramped up a few notches.
Opening Day cannot get here soon enough.