3. Albert Pujols
Tío Albert! LA misses you. Pujols was perfect for the Dodgers, providing excellent at-bats against left-handed pitching while also acting as a source of leadership and guidance for both the veterans and youngsters on LA’s roster. His contributions won’t ever be forgotten.
This offseason, the future Hall of Famer declared this would be his final year in MLB, and he returned to where it all began with the St. Louis Cardinals. As upset as Dodgers fans were when he left, it was understandable. It was the perfect way for Pujols to close out his storied career.
Through his first nine games, he’s hitting .259 with an .852 OPS and 154 OPS+ in 30 plate appearances. He’s still logging part-time duty, but is clearly being used as efficiently as he was in Los Angeles.
Could the Dodgers have used him in the same role in 2022? Absolutely. One could even say he’d be an upgrade over the current bench, which features Edwin Rios, Hanser Alberto and Gavin Lux. But at-bats would’ve been harder to come by after the addition of Freddie Freeman, so this divorce very much happened organically.
Rooting for Albert, but not shaken up over it by any means.