Albert Pujols has had a tremendous 20 seasons in baseball. By all accounts it’s a Hall of Fame career in spite of flagging results in the latter years. But this week a post on Instagram from his wife Deidre (which has since been edited) seemed to indicate 2021 would be Pujols’s final year in the majors.
Pujols will be a free agent in 2022, and will be 42. While he has had tremendous results for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Angels, it’s unlikely he’ll be a sought-after asset in free agency. After his wife’s message—which she said was simply a well-wish for the 2021 season—Pujols said, “I will make a decision about the future, depending on what happens this season.”
So while there isn’t yet an official statement of Pujols hanging up his cleats, it seems likely to happen after 2021.
- In Monday’s OTC, Josh shared the story of Kevin Mather’s 45-minute rotary club address that managed to offend pretty much everyone in the Seattle Mariners organization. On Monday, Mather resigned from his position. Story by Joseph Salvador.
- Adam Jude of the Seattle Times talks to Eric Hess, the Mariners fan who shared the controversy-stirring video of Mather.
- How did benching Joey Votto led to his reinvention? C. Trent Rosecrans and Eno Sarris talk to the Reds first baseman ahead of spring training. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Matt Snyder brings us five big rivalries for 2021.
- The Cleveland team-to-be-named-later is in need of a new moniker, and Adam Hirshfield and Zack Meisel of The Athletic are having an unofficial poll to see what fans think the new name should be. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Freddie and Chelsea Freeman share the unique way they added two new babies to their family this offseason, story by Buster Olney.
- The Giants are bringing names to the back of their jerseys.
- In an excerpt from 42 Today: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy, Chris Lamb looks at the way white media maintained the color barrier after Jackie Robinson made his debut.
- Lorenzo Cain is back with the Brewers and Andy McCullough shares this new drive and focus for the 2021 season. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- RJ McDaniel bids farewell to the Northwest League.
- Susie Allen of the UChicago News reflects on the groundbreaking journey of famous alum Kim Ng.
- The tremendously funny Grant Brisbee brings us a looks at some of the weird and wonderful MLB names that almost were. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Oliver Pérez is back with the Cleveland Indians, and Jay Jaffe looks at the 39-year-old’s minor league deal.
- Matt Martell looks at three hitters who are poised for a hot season.
- The Brewers are one step closer to having fans back for the new season.
Per Mark Attanasio, the Brewers have a walkthrough with City of Milwaukee health officials scheduled for Friday at American Family Field regarding the team's attendance proposal.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) February 23, 2021
- Are the Padres the new model for success? Dayn Perry looks at their impressive offseason and what it means for the coming season.
- Tyler Glasnow likes to get mad on the mound, so Andy McCullough talks to the Rays starter about how he gets riled up when pitching. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- For the prospect fans Eric Longenhagen and Kevin Goldstein bring notes from NCAA opening weekend.
- If you’re the betting type, Buster Olney has some over/under choices that might serve you well for the season.
- Those aren’t your pants, Nelson.
Nellie wearing Miggy's pants is everything pic.twitter.com/0wtrhgWRhO— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) February 23, 2021
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.