La Russa managed Pujols in St. Louis for 11 seasons, winning two World Series championships.
A day after the Angels made the headline-grabbing move to release Albert Pujols, the focus soon shifted on what the future Hall of Famer’s next move would be.
For now, it appears a reunion with an old friend from Pujols’s days in St. Louis is not on the table.
White Sox manager Tony La Russa told reporters yesterday that he didn’t view Pujols signing with the team as a likely outcome. Chicago appears to have first base (José Abreu) and designated hitter (Yermin Mercedes) occupied by everyday players, leaving scared at-bats for the 41-year-old Pujols who reportedly still views himself as an everyday player.
“We have Jose and Yermin and even if Yermin gets a little less hot, it’s a good way to maneuver that DH and get other guys off their feet,” La Russa said, per Scott Merkin of MLB.com. “There’s not a fit here, unfortunately.”
La Russa managed Pujols during the latter’s entire 11-year stint in St. Louis. The pair won the World Series title in 2006 and again in 2011, after which both left the organization. Pujols opted to sign a 10-year, $240 million deal with the Angels, while La Russa retired at age 67.
La Russa said he spoke to Pujols earlier Friday morning, noting Pujols’s belief in his abilities and adding, “He’s got game left.” La Russa added that Pujols’s determination to still succeed this season makes him a viable option for other clubs.
“This is the season, he wants to be playing, and if someone acquires him, they’ll get a very determined Albert,” La Russa said, per Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. “I just hope it’s in another league or different division, because I would never underestimate him.”
More on Albert Pujols:
- Apstein: Albert Pujols’s Greatest Impact With the Angels Came Within the Down Syndrome Community
- Verducci: The Wonder of Albert Pujols
- Laws: Angels’ Problems Run Deeper Than Pujols
- Selbe: Predicting the Five Best Landing Spots for Albert Pujols