Albert Pujols remains as Angels special assistant despite new MLB roles, team says

Dodgers first baseman Albert Pujols gets instruction from a coach in a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks
Former MLB star Albert Pujols will work as a special assistant to Commissioner Rob Manfred and serve as an analyst on MLB Network. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Albert Pujols retired from Major League Baseball as a player last year.

But the 43-year-old hasn't really gone anywhere.

And his MLB profile is about to get much higher.

Already a special assistant to the Angels under his 10-year personal services contract with the team, Pujols has been named a special assistant to Commissioner Rob Manfred and also will serve as an on-air analyst for MLB Network, the league announced Monday.

MLB specifically mentioned "player relations and issues regarding his home country, the Dominican Republic" among the topics Pujols will be addressing in his role as a consultant to Manfred.

“Beyond his long list of accomplishments on the field, Albert is a highly respected figure who represents the game extraordinarily well," Manfred said in a statement. "He cares greatly about making a difference in our communities. We are excited for Albert to join other former players who are doing important work for our sport, and we will welcome his perspective across our efforts.”

Pujols said: “I couldn't be more excited for this next chapter of my career. Commissioner Manfred and I share the same passion for growing the game in the Dominican Republic and I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish together.”

The Angels confirmed to The Times on Monday that Pujols remains with the team as a special assistant. In February, he reported to Angels spring training in Tempe, Ariz., under his new role and was expected to later visit the Angels’ facility in the Dominican Republic to mentor young players.

“My job is just, the same way that a lot of other veteran guys helped me back in my early days,” Pujols said during spring training, “it’s my job to help these guys out, to get better and be the superstar that they want to be.”

Pujols spent 22 seasons in the major leagues, including the first 11 with the St. Louis Cardinals. He joined the Angels as a free agent before the 2012 season and remained in Anaheim until he was released in May 2021. He finished that season with the Dodgers before returning to St. Louis for his farewell season.

On Sept. 23, Pujols hit his 700th career home run during a game at Dodger Stadium, joining Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714) as the only players to reach the milestone. He finished his career with 703 home runs.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.