The Los Angeles Angels released future Hall of Fame first baseman Albert Pujols on Thursday. Should the Milwaukee Brewers pursue him?
The first base situation in Milwaukee is far from settled. Keston Hiura has been demoted to Triple-A and Daniel Vogelbach hasn’t been as spectacular as he was in 2020. With a lack of answers and a lack of depth at the position, why not look at someone like Pujols?
It’s clear Pujols is not what he once was. Since leaving the Cardinals in 2011 and signing with the Angels, Pujols entered into a statistical decline almost immediately. Still, he has plenty of power and could help boost the Brewers offensive production.
Would the Milwaukee Brewers actually be able to sign Albert Pujols to a contract?
This is another instance where having a designated hitter in 2021 would really benefit the Brewers. A DH would allow the Crew to sign Pujols for that role while sticking with the better defensive options at first base in Vogelbach and Billy McKinney. Not having that DH is a blow to the chances that the Brewers would actually sign him.
Pujols’ salary is $30MM for this year, but the Angels are going to be on the hook for pretty much all of it. They paid for his salary so far this season, and whatever team signs Pujols can pay him league minimum and the Angels would have to cover the rest. Money won’t be an issue here.
Of course, convincing Pujols to join the Brewers would likely be the most difficult part. Pujols spent 11 years with the Cardinals and that’s where the bulk of his Hall of Fame resume was built. If St. Louis called, and they likely will, then it’ll be tough for Pujols to spurn them for Milwaukee.
The Brewers would also need to clear a 40 man roster spot somewhere else and they are running out of options for that after a rash of injuries.
Pujols is hitting just .198 this season through 92 plate appearances, so it’s not like he’d be a major improvement over the Crew’s current options. But he is a future Hall of Famer, still has big power with his five home runs, and it would pour a lot of salt in the wound for the Cardinals.
Milwaukee really isn’t the best fit for Pujols if he seeks to continue his career, and the Brewers don’t really have any sort of a strong connection to him, so it’s unlikely that he actually would sign here. But players around the league know about the strong Brewers culture and how much fun it is to be a Brewer, so maybe that could entice Pujols. We’ll see.