Although Woo suggests the Cardinals are unlikely to add Pujols, it would make a compelling story. Pujols, of course, spent the first 11 seasons of his career (2001-11) in St. Louis, where he became a franchise icon and helped the team compete in two World Series championships. Individually, Pujols has won nine All-Star nods, won three National League MVP awards and NL Rookie of the Year, among many other accolades.
Pujols’ successful run with the Cardinals came to an end before the 2012 campaign, when he signed a 10-year, $ 254 million contract with the Angels. It was the second biggest contract in baseball history at the time, although the Angels didn’t get enough bang for their buck after taking the risk. Pujols’ production has declined significantly with the Halos, and as of 2017, he ranks second to last among 2,278 fWAR qualified players (minus-3.3). During that 1934 plaque appearance period, the 41-year-old also landed a measly 84 wRC +, which is a far cry from his exemplary life mark (142).
In terms of production, this season has been more or less the same for Pujols, owner of a .198 / .250 / .372 (74 wRC +) line with five circuits in 92 trips to the plate. But Pujols has at least shown encouraging signs, including a generally low pullout rate (14.1%) and its highest average exit speed since 2016 (90.5 mph). Pujols also has a career-worst .176 batting average on balls in play, although that isn’t necessarily shocking for someone devoid of speed. Still, if that number grows and his 0.270 grade point average gets closer to his expected wOBA of 0.347, Pujols could perhaps serve as a useful batting / veteran for a club ready to take a chance on someone with 667 home runs. . his CV.