Future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols is set to rejoin the team where his long Major League career started.
MLB.com and the St. Louis Post Dispatch are quoting sources as saying Pujols has agreed to a one year deal with the St. Louis Cardinals worth $2.5 million.
The contract is pending a physical, and as of Monday morning, has not been announced by the club.
Pujols won World Series titles with the Cardinals in 2006 and 2011, and will be reunited with former teammates Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright.
Pujols, who’s just 21 home runs shy of 700 for his career, will most likely serve as a right-handed designated hitter against lefties and a pinch-hitter.
A statement from the St. Louis Cardinals is below:
ST. LOUIS, MO., March 28, 2022 – The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have reached an agreement with Albert Pujols on a one-year contract for 2022, re-uniting the franchise with one of its most decorated players of all-time. Pujols, 42, was drafted by St. Louis in 1999 (13th round) and played his first 11 seasons with the Cardinals, nine of those as a National League All-Star.
“We are pleased and excited to have Albert return to the Cardinals for the upcoming season,” stated Cardinals Chairman Bill DeWitt, Jr. “This reunion with Albert is a wonderful opportunity for not only him and the Cardinals, but also for our great fans, the St. Louis community, our players and staff, and everyone connected to the St. Louis Cardinals organization. “We look forward to seeing Albert in the “Birds on the Bat” once again, and wearing his familiar uniform number 5.”
A member of the Cardinals 2006 and 2011 World Series Champions, Pujols compiled a .328 batting mark, 445 home runs and 1,329 RBI in his 11 seasons (2001-11) with the Cardinals, earning National League MVP honors in 2005, 2008 and 2009.
“Seldom does one get to share in watching or being a part of ‘living’ history,” said Cardinals’ President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak. “From the day we called Albert’s name in the draft room back in 1999, to now, as we set our sights on 2022, this reunion just makes sense in so many ways. We are all looking forward to reuniting Albert with his Cardinals family, and for the fan in all of us, including myself, this feels like looking through the pages of a favorite scrapbook or baseball card album and seeing those images and memories jump off the pages.”
Pujols currently ranks among the top-10 in Major League Baseball’s all-time career leaders in RBI (2,150, 3rd), home runs (679, 5th), doubles (672, 5th), extra base hits (1,367, 4th), total bases (6,042, 4th) and at-bats (11,114, 8th) and his 3,301 career hits rank 12th.
In his 11 seasons with the Cardinals, “El Hombre” posted franchise career top-10 totals for slugging pct. (.617, 1st), on-base pct. (.420, 2nd) home runs (445, 2nd), RBI (1,329, 2nd), doubles (455, 2nd), walks (975, 2nd), games (1,705, 8th), runs (1,291, 3rd) and batting average (.328, 6th).
Albert is a 10-time All-Star, six-time Silver Slugger, two-time Rawlings Gold Glover, 2001 N.L. Rookie of the Year, 2004 N.L. National League Championship Series MVP, 2003 National League batting champion (.359), and 2008 Roberto Clemente Award honoree.
Pujols led the National League in runs scored five times, hits once (212 in 2003), home runs twice, and RBI once (118 in 2010). He holds the 2000s decade (2000-09) National League “Triple Crown” for batting (.334), home runs (366) and RBI (1,112) despite the fact he didn’t debut until 2001.
Pujols has appeared in 74 career postseason games for the Cardinals, hitting a franchise postseason record 18 home runs with 52 RBI, including a World Series record-tying 3 HR’s in Game 3 of the 2011 Fall Classic.
Pujols ranks among the all-time Busch Stadium III leaders in games played (462, 5th), home runs (112, 1st), RBI (358, 2nd), runs scored (314, 3rd) and hits (544, 2rd).
The St. Louis fan-favorite spent the 2012-21 seasons in Los Angeles with the Angels and Dodgers, earning an All-Star selection in 2015 with the Halos. Pujols had six seasons with 20 or more homers for the Angels and four 100-plus RBI seasons. He batted .254 with 12 HR’s and 38 RBI in 85 games with the Dodgers last season, and hit .294 with 13 HR’s and 34 RBI with a .939 OPS in his 146 plate appearances versus left-handed pitching in 2021.
Pujols will wear his iconic uniform no. 5, which the team never re-issued after its 2011 World Series Championship season.