After being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers last season and finishing a massive 10-year deal inked with the Angels, Albert Pujols is now a free agent once again and looking for a team to join for the upcoming 2022 season. In a December interview with La Vida Baseball, the veteran slugger opened up on what keeps him going this far into his professional career.
At the professional leveI, I have achieved everything: a World Series ring, MVP, all that. But one thing is your passion, the passion that you’ve had for baseball ever since you were a kid. You start to think about your childhood, what you’ve sacrificed, what you’ve fought for, and that’s what still attracts me – the passion that I have.
That passion has helped the Dominican star dominate for over 2 decades and he isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet.
We’ll see, you can’t really control that. I think my focus is on preparing myself and seeing what’s out there, because there are 30 teams in the major leagues and one of them might give me an opportunity. I’ve now played for three teams: St. Louis, Anaheim, and the Dodgers. There are 27 other teams that I haven’t played with. If any team thinks they need my services, I’m going to be ready.
Pujols' playing time was reduced in 2021, allowing him to rediscover a new energy that helped him produce for the Dodgers as they tried for back-to-back titles. A comparable position for a contending team might help him continue to play at least another year – perhaps long enough to reach the historical 700 home run milestone (he presently has 679).
Although he may no longer warrant a massive contract as he did in his prime, Albert Pujols has had one of the most accomplished careers in all of baseball and will still be a popular name once free agency resumes. If the Dodgers want to bring him back, they will definitely have to pay more than the veteran’s minimum they gave him last year.