Cleveland Indians fans are aware the first base position is nowhere near solidified in 2021.
Josh Naylor has even gotten time at first base as well.
There is even Bobby Bradley down at Triple-A, who some fans want up as soon as possible.
Now Albert Pujols is being thrown into the conversation after his release by the Los Angeles Angels.
Is that a good idea?
Or even a realistic one?
No Need to Pursue Pujols
Let’s start with the first question.
No, it is not a good idea to try to bring in Pujols as the first baseman.
There is a reason the Angels are eating a ton of money just to get Pujols off the roster.
The team wants to try to win in 2021 and he was not helping the cause.
The 41-year-old was batting .198 before his release and had a -0.5 WAR on the young season.
Some fans will immediately point at Bauers’ batting average as proof that Pujols would be an upgrade.
But we are years past the point of only looking at that stat to make any decisions.
Pujols has been on the decline since he arrived out west and is not the player he was a decade ago.
The Angels and their fans already know that.
Could Pujols be a Realistic Option?
Cleveland is actually showing up as a likely destination according to betting odds.
However, that may only be because the team has a need at first base more than any actual interest in him.
What is the best fit for Albert Pujols?@PerezEd explains why it may be in the 216:
"It would really actually add a spark to the Cleveland Indians." pic.twitter.com/89xH2d3yh6
— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) May 7, 2021
Of course, Pujols’ name would be an exciting addition.
There are just too many in-house options who are better in the long-term.
And even with a slow start, Bradley remains in the plans.
Bauers could also turn things around to be a suitable option.
He has been hitting the ball hard this season, which adds context to his lower average.
It should also be noted the front office likely has a long list of options in mind that never included Pujols.
A likely landing spot for the veteran may be the Chicago White Sox if Tony La Russa were to use some of his power in town.
Such a move may enrage White Sox fans, but that is true with just about every decision La Russa has made as manager.
The Indians are a young club looking to win while keeping costs low.
Someone like Jones would likely get a shot over an aging veteran like Pujols.
The same is true with Miller.
Notable to see Owen Miller here playing first base. Chance he could get the call to fill in the same job Chang is currently occupying. https://t.co/TPHHMV9FF6
— Indians Prospective (@indiansPro) May 7, 2021
There is a difference between a fun signing in general and a fun one that actually helps the team win now.
Albert Pujols would not be a distraction, but he would also not do much to help the short or long-term success of this club.
For that reason the Indians should stay away.