Albert Pujols and the Cardinals have agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million deal, per source.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) March 28, 2022
The move brings the veteran back to the place where he spent the first 11 seasons of his legendary MLB career.
Many Cardinals fans are stoked about the news, and rightly so.
Pujols’ one-year deal with St. Louis makes tons of sense for a handful of reasons.
Here are a few of them.
3. Veteran Leadership
Of course, regardless of production, Pujols brings a lot to the table as a veteran voice.
With the future Hall of Famer entering his 22nd MLB season, few players in baseball history have the sort of experience that he does.
Pujols has played for his fair share of winning teams and losing teams, so he knows how to handle adversity.
Almost every MLB team goes through a rough stretch at some point in any given season, and if the Cardinals find themselves struggling at some point in 2022, Pujols will be there to help the team refocus and get back on track.
Additionally, he brings 86 career games of postseason experience to the table.
The Cardinals are hoping to make the playoffs in 2022, and if they do, Pujols will be a key voice in helping the team navigate the pressure that comes along with October baseball.
2. A Potential Weapon In Certain Spots
It’s no secret that Pujols isn’t the hitter he used to be.
He was unstoppable during his prime years, racking up three MVP awards and a handful of other accolades.
But after leaving the Cardinals for the Los Angeles Angels in 2011, Pujols’ production started to decline.
He posted a mere .758 OPS during his time away from St. Louis, which lasted from the 2012 season to the 2021 campaign.
However, the 42-year-old is still capable of doing damage against left-handed pitching.
In the 2021 season, he posted a .939 OPS against lefties.
It’s also worth noting that he had some really good moments in 2021 as a pinch hitter.
In 43 plate appearances, he batted .359 with a .908 OPS in such spots.
Pujols could end up being a very valuable weapon for the Cardinals in 2022 if they use him in the right situations.
1. Good Mojo
The 2022 season will be Pujols’ final run in the majors.
— Derrick S. Goold (@dgoold) March 28, 2022
It’s poetic that he’s finishing his career with the Cardinals, and it gives the team one of the best storylines in baseball going into the 2022 campaign.
Pujols is already a two-time World Series champion, and there’s no doubt that he’d love nothing more than to finish his playing days with one more ring.
That’s going to be an extremely fun narrative to follow all season long.
If the 10-time All-Star does indeed help St. Louis win yet another title, it’ll be one of the most legendary tales in recent memory.
There’s plenty of positive energy surrounding St. Louis after Monday’s Pujols news, and the hope is that the vibes will remain intact throughout the season.
The Cardinals will open their 2021 campaign on April 7 against the Pittsburgh Pirates.