Almost immediately after the Los Angeles Angels confirmed on Thursday they were parting ways with future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols, fans and knowledgeable analysts linked the 41-year-old with the Chicago White Sox and manager Tony La Russa, who served as Pujols’ skipper during his first 11 MLB seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Per Jesse Rogers of ESPN, La Russa told reporters on Friday that he just doesn’t have a place for his former star.
“We have Jose (Abreu) and Yermin (Mercedes), and even if Yermin gets less hot, it’s a good way to DH other guys, get them off their feet,” La Russa explained. “There is no fit here, unfortunately.”
La Russa echoed reports from Thursday that Pujols wants to continue playing even though he was slashing only .198/.250/.372 with five home runs and 12 RBIs when the Angels designated him for assignment.
“He wants to be playing,” La Russa added. “They’ll get a very determined Albert. I would never underestimate him. He is one of the game’s great, winning competitive players.”
Per Cleveland’s WKYC, ESPN analyst and former player Eduardo Perez has suggested the Cleveland Indians should take a flier on Pujols.