Albert Pujols wants to hook on with a new team and be an everyday player.
The 41-year-old superstar was cut Thursday by the Los Angeles Angels, abruptly ending a decade-long stint with his second major league club. He was designated for assignment one day after Pujols, dissatisfied with irregular playing time, had a late-night meeting with general manager Perry Minasian and team president John Carpino.
Pujols, batting .198 this season, is determined to play first base regularly for another team after he clears waivers, Angels manager Joe Maddon said. Pujols is fifth in major league history with 667 career homers and 13th with 3,253 hits.
"He wants to play, and he wants to be in the field," Maddon said. "Hopefully he’s going to get that opportunity somewhere else, and believe me, we're all going to be rooting for him."
The three-time NL MVP for St. Louis was in the final season of a $240 million, 10-year contract with Los Angeles.
If another team picks up Pujols after he clears waivers, the Angels still would owe him the rest of his $30 million, minus a prorated portion of likely the major league minimum salary.
"Albert is not a bench player," said Minasian, the Angels’ first-year GM. "Him being on the bench would not do him any good, and would not do the team any good. He’s as motivated as he’s ever been. If the situation was different and there were at-bats for him to play here, it would be different."