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Albert Pujols plans to retire after 2022 season

Albert Pujol is back with the Cardinals, and he will end his career where it began. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch) in a press conference announcing his return to St. Louis, Pujols confirmed that he plans to retire after the upcoming season.That’s it for me, this is my last race“, he told the group.

Pujols is heading into the 22nd season of a Hall of Fame career. He spent just over half that season in Cardinal red, breaking into the big leagues with rookie of the year in 2001. The first baseman finished fourth in NL MVP voting his first season, and he would remain in the top five in that ballot for all but one season in St. Louis (a 2007 campaign in which he finished ninth).

During this run, Pujols won the MVP award three times. He led MLB in OPS+ in four of five seasons between 2006 and 2010, winning the Silver Slugger Award in each of the past three years. Pujols went to the Midsummer Classic in nine of his first 11 seasons with the Cards and helped the club win two World Series championships. During his time in St. Louis, he posted an incredible .328 slash /.420/.617, averaging more than 40 home runs per season.

Of course, the second half of Pujols’ career didn’t come close to the otherworldly heights he reached during that time. Pujols posted above-average attacking numbers in each of his first five seasons. in Orange County after signing a 10-year pact with the Angels during the 2011-12 offseason. He only had great numbers in his first season with the Halos (.285/.343/.516 with 30 home runs) as his batting average and base numbers dropped sharply, although Pujols is twice as eclipsed 30 longballs in Anaheim.

As his production continued to decline towards the end of that deal, the Angels released Pujols last May. He landed with the Dodgers and served as a right-handed bench/platoon bat before returning to the open market this winter. the 42-year-old agreed to return to St. Louis for one last run last night.

Pujols has already accumulated a long list of professional achievements. His name is on all-time charts in most major categories. He’s 12th with 3,301 hits, and he’s only 18 hits away from edging Paul Molitor in the top ten. Barring injury, he’s sure to get there this year. It will be more difficult – but not impossible – for Pujols to establish another pair of accomplishments in the home run department. Already 5th all-time with 679 big flies, he needs 18 more to succeed Alex Rodriguez for fourth place and 21 home runs to reach the plateau of 700. Pujols is 64 RBI from Baby Ruth for second place in this category, and he has a chance to skip both Willie Mays (at 38) and Stan Music (92 away) in total goals.

Clearly, Pujols won’t take on the kind of workload he faced at the start of his career. Paul Goldschmidt is the regular first baseman with the Cards, leaving the designated hitter role as the cleanest path to bat for Pujols. In recent seasons, he hasn’t hit well enough for a team to winner of St. Louis is committed to playing him every day in this capacity, but he plans to pick up some pinch work and starts against left-handed throwing Cardinals fans will have the opportunity to watch Pujols continue these various milestones for six months, and he’ll be stepping out alongside the other two most synonymous players of Cardinal baseball’s past two decades.

Yadier Molina has already announced his intention to retire after this year. Adam Wainwrightwho will turn 41 in August, returned for a 17th season on a one-year contract during the offseason. There has been much speculation over the past few seasons that Wainwright may soon retire, although he has yet to commit one way or the other. The three-time All-Star starter again objected to his future this afternoon, telling reporters he was “do not cross this bridge” right now (via John Denton of MLB.com).

To Wainwright’s credit, he remained highly productive well into his 30s, showing even less of a drop in performance than either of his legendary teammates. All three players were iconic members of the organization, and they are now officially reunited for It remains to be seen whether Wainwright will join Molina and Pujols as outgoing stars, but the trio will be together this year in hopes of bringing a third World Series to St. Louis.

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