Albert Pujols and the NL Central Return
Could Albert Pujols return to the St. Louis Cardinals?
Not impossible, but not likely. But a return to the NL Central can’t be ruled out.
Only the Pirates can be considered out of it in Pujols’s former division, and two of the contenders arguably have vacancies at first base.
First up, the Cincinnati Reds, who would love to make a surprise run this season after so much irrelevance. Their own aging superstar first baseman, Joey Votto, just went down with a broken thumb, and could miss as much as a month. Bringing in Pujols would immediately provide that same veteran presence in the lineup Votto had been providing for the young club.
Or what about the Milwaukee Brewers. There was a reason Pujols was cut, but there was an even bigger reason Milwaukee’s Opening Day first baseman was just sent back down to the minors. Keston Hiura has been horrible this year, and with Christian Yelich returning to the disabled list, the Brew Crew’s offense can use a spark. Any kind of spark. They’re alive entirely because of their rotation, which is easily the best in the division. The offense? Pujols is currently batting .198 this year…and he’s nearly fifty points ahead of Hiura. He’d be tied for the team lead in homers.
Starting the rest of the way is on the table in Milwaukee. Starting for another month, and then rotating with Votto in Cincinnati. Or the slight chance St. Louis brings him back for a farewell tour in complete backup duty.
He won’t be a Cub or a Pirate, but he could easily be NL Central bound. Unless…