Are Pujols, Cardinals talking reunion?

May 15th, 2021

Is a reunion between and the Cardinals in the works? MLB Network insider Jon Heyman tweeted that it may be a tough fit with everyday star Paul Goldschmidt entrenched at first.

In a radio appearance Wednesday on 101 ESPN St. Louis, Cardinals president Bill DeWitt III was asked about the Cardinals potentially pursuing Pujols.

“We’ve certainly had some internal conversations about it, of course how could you not, right?” DeWitt said. "But I think right now we really like where we are with the team. I’d hate to take at-bats away from anybody right now. I think we’ve still got people that we want to see what they’re all about, younger players, etc. So I think right now it’s something that we haven’t really entertained.

“I think that if this was at the end of the season, it might have been a different conversation. And you never say never, but right now, we like where we are.”

Pujols, 41, who was released by the Angels on May 6, was in the final year of the 10-year, $240 million contract he signed with Los Angeles after the 2011 campaign.

Because Pujols passed through waivers unclaimed before being cut loose, the Angels are on the hook for the remaining money on the deal (nearly $30 million).

Pujols made his MLB debut with the Cardinals in 2001 and was an immediate star, hitting .329 with 37 homers en route to the NL Rookie of the Year Award. During his time with the Cards, Pujols recorded a .328/.420/.617 slash line with 445 homers, 455 doubles and 1,329 RBIs. He earned NL MVP honors in 2005, ‘08 and ‘09, and the Cardinals won two World Series titles during his tenure.

After the Cardinals topped the Rangers in the 2011 World Series, the first baseman left St. Louis to sign a megadeal with the Angels. His production declined precipitously in recent years, and he had a .622 OPS over his first 24 games this season before he was released.

Pujols is 33 homers away from becoming the fourth player to hit 700 home runs. He's one of six players with 500-plus homers and at least 3,000 hits, joining Hank Aaron, Alex Rodriguez, Willie Mays, Rafael Palmeiro and Eddie Murray.