Albert Pujols won’t chase 700 home runs if it means playing next year

St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols. (Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)
St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols. (Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports) /

Despite nearing 700 career home runs, Albert Pujols gave an adamant answer about potentially playing in 2023.

Albert Pujols made his grand return to the St. Louis Cardinals for the 2022 season. After which, the longtime, legendary first baseman will retire. Recently, Pujols has been on a surge in the month of August, including hitting his No. 688 and 689 career home runs on Aug. 14 against the Milwaukee Brewers.

After the game, Pujols was asked if he would consider playing for the 2023 season. Well, Pujols gave a resounding answer…no.

“Where I’ll be in 2023 is here … watching some of these guys play from the stands,” Pujols said, h/t’s John Denton. “I really don’t think about [coming back]. This is it for me. … I’m going to take a little break.”

Albert Pujols shuts down potential of playing in 2023

There you have it. No matter what happens this season, this will be Pujols’ last.

Last year, Pujols was waived by the Los Angeles Angels early on in the campaign. From there, fans wondered if a return to St. Louis would be in the cards for Pujols that season, but he ultimately signed on with the Dodgers. But this offseason, Pujols and the Cardinals made it official with a one-year pact, with the intention of this being his final season in the majors.

As mentioned earlier, Pujols has been on fire in the month of August. In nine games entering Aug. 17, he is slashing .381/.458/.857 while recording three home runs, six RBI, and eight hits in 21 at-bats.

On the season, Pujols recorded a .251 batting average, a .790 OPS, 10 home runs, 30 RBI, and 47 hits 67 games.

Regardless of how the season ends for Pujols, whether that is winning the World Series or not, 2022 will be it for the no-doubt Hall of Famer.

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