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#pounditFriday, December 3, 2021

Albert Pujols signs with Dodgers for rest of season

Albert Pujols

Albert Pujols has found a new team, and it’s a somewhat surprising destination.

As first reported by Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times, Pujols has agreed to a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the rest of the season. The Dodgers will only owe Pujols a pro-rated minimum salary, with the Angels on the hook for the remainder of the $30 million that was owed to him in 2021.

This very much comes out of nowhere, and on the surface, it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. However, the Dodgers’ pinch hitters have struggled this year, and the only right-handers on the bench are rookies Sheldon Neuse and DJ Peters. Pujols may also be able to help against lefties, and the team may be hoping that a move to a contender might be what the 41-year-old needs. It does suggest that the veteran is willing to accept a bench role, even though that was apparently part of his frustration with the Angels.

Pujols was hitting .198 with five home runs when he was released by the Angels. His exit was rather acrimonious, and joining the Dodgers probably won’t heal whatever wounds still exist.

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