The Cards agreed to sign their legend to a one-year contract worth $2.5 million, signaling the return of the star slugger to St. Louis after he left as a World Series winner in 2011.
But the deal has many incentives that could make it enticing for the first baseman/designated hitter.
According to MLB insider Jon Heyman, Pujols could win more money through incentives.
“Albert Pujols, Cardinals: $2,500,000/1 year. Plus: $100,000 for All Star, $100,000 for Gold Glove, $50,000 for Silver Slugger, $100,000 for MVP ($50,000-2nd thru 10th), $50,000 for DS/MVP, $100,000 for LCS/MVP, $150,000 for WS/MVP,” Heyman tweeted.
Albert Pujols, Cardinals
Plus: $100,000 for All Star
$100,000 for Gold Glove
$50,000 for Silver Slugger
$100,000 for MVP ($50,000-2nd thru 10th)
$50,000 for DS/MVP
$100,000 for LCS/MVP
$150,000 for WS/MVP
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 28, 2022
For reference, DS MVP means Divisional Series MVP, while LCS and WS stand for “League Championship Series” and “World Series,” respectively.
Pujols is not the same hitter now as the one who wowed an entire city (and the baseball universe) during his first 11 years as a Cardinal.
Pujols May Still Be Able To Contribute To The Cardinals In A Reserve Role
He hit .236 last year with 29 runs, 17 home runs, 50 RBI, and a .717 OPS.
He is no longer an option against right-handed hitters, since he slashed .180/.233/.266 against them in 2021.
He could be a threat vs. lefties, though, as his .294/.336/.603 line suggests.
Therefore, he could be perfectly suited for a platoon at the designated hitter spot with some spot starts at first base.
Playing in front of his fans could revitalize his career, and teammates could find inspiration in him: overall, bringing in Pujols is a sound decision even if he is not nearly the player he once was.
MLB fans hope he can have a shot at entering the 700-homer club, and he is currently at 679.