(670 The Score) Veteran slugger Albert Pujols and White Sox manager Tony La Russa have a special relationship. They just won’t be reuniting at the big league level this season.
A day after the Angels parted ways with Pujols, La Russa on Friday shut the door on any chance of the White Sox signing him.
“There’s not a fit here, unfortunately,” La Russa told reporters on a Zoom call before Chicago played at Kansas City.
On Thursday, the Angels designated the 41-year-old Pujols for assignment in the final season of his 10-year, $240-million contract. That means Pujols will soon become a free agent. He was hitting .198 with five homers, 12 RBIs and a .622 OPS in 24 games when the Angels cut him.
In addition to his struggles at the plate, Pujols doesn’t fit the White Sox from a positional standpoint, as he plays first base and designated hitter. Reigning American League MVP Jose Abreu is entrenched at first base for the White Sox, and rookie Yermin Mercedes has had a breakout season and often fills the DH slot. The White Sox's needs are in the outfield with Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez both set to be out until late in the season – or perhaps for all of it.
Pujols played for La Russa for 11 seasons in St. Louis, where they won a pair of World Series titles together. Pujols hit 445 of his 667 career homers for the Cardinals. La Russa and Pujols talked Friday morning, and La Russa had praise for him.
"He believes, and if he believes, I believe, he's got game left," La Russa said, according to Scott Merkin of MLB.com.