Pujols clears waivers, becomes free agent

May 13th, 2021

has cleared waivers and is now a free agent.

The Angels designated the 41-year-old slugger for assignment last Thursday, giving them seven days to either trade or place him on outright waivers.

If Pujols had been claimed, his new team would have been on the hook for his remaining 2021 salary (nearly $30 million). Because he went unclaimed, the Halos will be responsible for paying the rest of that money.

Players who pass through waivers unclaimed after being designated for assignment can be sent outright to the Minors, but those with three-plus years of Major League service time can refuse the assignment and become a free agent.

Pujols’ release officially ends his tenure with the Angels, who signed him to a 10-year, $240 million contract after the 2011 season.

In 1,181 games with the Angels, Pujols hit .256 with 222 homers and a .758 OPS. The first baseman had a .328 average and a 1.037 OPS during his time with the Cardinals, earning three National League MVP Awards and helping St. Louis win two World Series titles.

Pujols ranks fifth in MLB history with 667 homers and 13th with 3,253 hits. He’s one of six players with both 500 homers and 3,000 hits, along with Hank Aaron, Alex Rodriguez, Willie Mays, Rafael Palmeiro and Eddie Murray.