Indeed, fans feel that St. Louis is actually home for the right-handed slugger, and he feels the same way.
Welcome home, Albert Pujols! pic.twitter.com/Ad4rQDu4RR
— Cards Nation (@CardsNation13) March 28, 2022
The Cardinals are signing Pujols to a one-year contract worth around $2.5 million.
Pujols is already a first-ballot Hall of Fame candidate five years after he decides to hang up his cleats, but he is returning to St. Louis to play in front of his fans at least one more season.
It could be his final season, too, and it could be fitting to see him say goodbye in the city of St. Louis.
Pujols spent the best 11 years of his career there, and it ended with a World Series title in 2011 before he went to Los Angeles on a record free agent deal.
Pujols was with the Organization from 2001-2011, where he amassed 10 All Star Selections, 3 NL MVP Awards, and won 2 World Series Championships. pic.twitter.com/ok4LN4sHEA
— Maxx Sports (@MaxxSportsInc) March 28, 2022
The first baseman is 42 now, so he is not the star he used to be: the Cards are expected to use him as a bench bat or platoon hitter at first base.
What Can Pujols Contribute For The Cards?
At this point, Pujols is a disaster against right-handed pitching: he hit .180/.233/.266 against them last year.
He remains, however, a useful hitter against lefties, as his .294/.336/.603 slash suggests.
Pujols needs just 21 home runs to reach 700, a milestone than only a handful of players have ever touched.
It’s unclear if he will get enough playing time to have a real shot to eclipse the milestone in just one season, but he will try, no doubt.
Fans know he isn’t the player he used to be, but they are eager to watch him play nonetheless.
Even though it's entirely symbolic and a ticket sales ploy, I have to admit that it's gonna be cool to see Albert Pujols in a Cardinals uniform one last time, especially with Yadi and Waino.
— Jake Smith (@AnotherSmithBoy) March 28, 2022
Whether he plays or not, just seeing him embracing a return to St. Louis has fans fired up about the season.
Albert Pujols back in a Cards uni after all these years, things you love to see 💯
— Double Dees (@DeMattiOhh) March 28, 2022
Pujols is, truly, a once-in-a-generation player and a hero for Cardinals fans.