On Monday, the Los Angeles Dodgers officially signed future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols to a major league contract for the rest of the season. The Dodgers haven’t received much production from their role players this year, and they’ve struggled against lefties at times. They’re hoping Pujols can help solve both problems.
It didn’t take Pujols long to make an impact. He started Monday night’s series opener with the Diamondbacks (GameTracker) at first base and as the cleanup hitter, and after flying out to center in his first at-bat, Pujols shot an RBI single through the shift against Madison Bumgarner in his second at-bat. Here’s the video:
Pujols was 7 for 27 (.259) with three home runs against lefties heading into Monday’s game. With Cody Bellinger (leg), Zach McKinstry (oblique), AJ Pollock (hamstring), Edwin Ríos (shoulder), and Corey Seager (hand) all injured, Pujols figures to get quite a bit of playing time in the immediate future.
That said, the Dodgers have not made Pujols any promises about playing time, and he says he is ready to embrace “whatever” role the team envisions for him. Prior to Monday’s game, Pujols pushed back against reports about the end of his tenure with the Angels, which was said to be acrimonious.
The Angels released Pujols last week and owe him the remainder of his $30 million salary this year. The Dodgers will pay him the prorated portion of the league minimum. It’s a low cost flier with some upside.