Nolan Arenado Weighs In on Albert Pujols Returning in 2023
By Tyler Maher
Nolan Arenado isn't ready for Albert Pujols to retire.
While Pujols has repeatedly said that 2022 will be his final season, his teammate Arenado would like to see him return to the St. Louis Cardinals in 2023, especially if he's unable to hit his historic 700 home runs.
Albert Pujols News
Pujols, 42, has enjoyed a renaissance with the Cardinals this season. He's having his best offensive season in years, batting .272/.348/.526 with 16 home runs and 43 RBIs in 84 games. The three-time MVP is also closing in on 700 career home runs, as he's currently at 695 after swatting nine long balls in his last 22 games.
St. Louis Cardinals News
Even if Pujols does get to 700 homers this year, he may change his mind and decide to return in 2023. Babe Ruth's career total of 714 home runs is now within reach, and Pujols would rank third all-time behind Barry Bonds and Hank Aaron if he passes Ruth.
Furthermore, Pujols may feel differently now about retirement after the productive season he's had. He still seems to have something left in the tank and he's enjoyed being back in St. Louis, where he spent the first 11 years of his career from 2001-2011.
Pujols will be a free agent this winter, but he could decide to come back to the Cardinals if the two sides can work something out. While he's getting too old to play the field, he can still serve as the team's designated hitter, especially against left-handed pitchers.
It also helps that the Cards are competitive and would give Pujols a shot at another championship ring if he wants it (he already has two). St. Louis currently has an 8.5-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central and is tied for the sixth-best World Series odds (+2100) on FanDuel Sportsbook's MLB odds, so he may not have to wait until next year for his next title shot.