LOS ANGELES — A person with knowledge of the deal says the Los Angeles Dodgers are signing veteran first baseman Albert Pujols to a major league deal.
The source spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Saturday because the deal isn’t expected to be finalized until Monday. The Los Angeles Times first reported the agreement.
The 41-year-old Pujols left the Los Angeles Angels earlier this month after nearly 10 seasons with the Dodgers’ Orange County rivals. The oldest player in the majors batted .198 this season with five homers and 12 RBIs for the Angels.
Pujols was in the final season of a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Angels, who didn’t win a playoff game during his tenure.
The slugger is making $30 million this season, and the Dodgers will pay him only the pro-rated portion of the major league minimum salary for the rest of the season, roughly $420,000. The rest will be paid by the Angels.
Pujols is fifth in major league history with 667 career homers and 13th with 3,253 hits, but he has been a low-impact contributor to the Angels for the past half-decade. The Angels said Pujols requested his departure from Anaheim because he didn’t want to be a backup, instead intending to play every day for another team.
Yet there’s almost no chance of the three-time NL MVP Pujols playing every day for the defending World Series champion Dodgers, who have veteran Max Muncy as their everyday first baseman along with former NL MVP Cody Bellinger, who has been out with an injury since the first series of the season.
Pujols is also moving back to the National League, where the 10-time All-Star can only help as a designated hitter in interleague road games.
But Muncy can also play other positions in the infield, and the right-handed-hitting Pujols could perhaps assuage the Dodgers’ relative struggles against left-handed pitching this season. They have .663 OPS against lefties this season, significantly lower than their mark against right-handers.
Pujols will be the fourth former MVP on the Dodgers, joining Bellinger, Mookie Betts and Clayton Kershaw. They also have three former Cy Young Award winners: Kershaw, Trevor Bauer and David Price.
For all their talent, the Dodgers have been hit hard by injuries early in the season, and Pujols could fill some innings until they return to full strength.
Although he remained a fairly steady power hitter, Pujols is batting .240 with minus-2 wins above replacement over the past half-decade. His career average even dipped under .300 last season for the first time in his two decades in the majors.
Pujols has spent the past five to six years playing at a fraction of his fearsome prime with the St. Louis Cardinals from 2001-11, where he won two World Series championships.
The Dodgers and Angels play 35 miles apart in the LA metropolitan area. While the Angels struggled through Pujols’ nine full seasons with just one playoff berth, the powerhouse Dodgers are the defending champions and eight-time NL West champs.
RAYS 12, METS 5: Joey Wendle hit three doubles and a single, keying two big innings that sent Tampa Bay to a win in St. Petersburg, Florida..
Yandy Diaz, who had two of Tampa Bay’s eight doubles, and Randy Arozarena each had three hits.
Francisco Lindor, Pete Alonso and Jose Peraza each homered for the Mets, who have lost two in a row at Tropicana Field after a seven-game winning streak.
Wendle had an infield that set up a run in the first and doubled to spark a five-run fourth that made it 6-4. He hit a two-run double in a six-run eighth that broke open the game.
Rays starter Shane McClanahan (1-0) got his first major league win. The 24-year-old lefty, who last October became the first pitcher in major league history to debut in the postseason, gave up four runs on six hits while striking out seven in 5 1/3 innings.
TWINS 5, ATHLETICS 4: Miguel Sanó snapped a 19-game homerless drought with a three-run homer in the eighth inning and Minnesota came back to beat Oakland in Minneapolis
Sanó pounded his chest and gestured to his teammates as he rounded the bases after his homer off Oakland left-hander Jake Diekman just reached the overhang in right field. Sanó was hitting just .114 this season before the homer, which was just his second of the year and first since the third game of the season.
It was the big hit Minnesota needed to snap its five-game losing streak and finally offer some relief for its struggling offense. The Twins had been 2 for 10 with runners in scoring position on Saturday before Sanó’s homer and entered the day hitting .229 with runners in scoring position.
TIGERS 9, CUBS 8: Harold Castro hit an RBI single in the bottom of the 10th inning off Craig Kimbrel to give Detroit a victory over Chicago in Detroit.
Detroit rallied from deficits of 2-0, 4-3, 7-6 and 8-7 to win a back-and-forth game in which neither starting pitcher made it past the third. The final comeback by the Tigers came when they scored twice off Kimbrel (0-2).
Nomar Mazara tied it with an RBI single that scored the automatic runner, and JaCoby Jones ran for Mazara and stole second. Then Castro — hitless in five previous at-bats Saturday with three strikeouts — slapped a two-out single to left. The throw home by Kris Bryant was a bit off line and Jones was easily safe.
YANKEES 8, ORIOLES 2: Aaron Judge homered for the third time in two games, and Domingo German had another stellar outing at Camden Yards.
After hitting two home runs Friday, Judge gave New York a 5-0 lead with a two-run shot in the second inning. Six of Judge’s 11 homers this season have come against Baltimore.
German (3-2) allowed one run and four hits with six strikeouts and two walks over six innings. He has won all four of his career starts in Baltimore.
BRAVES 5, BREWERS 1: Ian Anderson took a no-hit try into the seventh inning, Freddie Freeman hit a two-run homer and Atlanta won at Milwaukee.
PIRATES 8, GIANTS 6: Jacob Stallings hit a two-out, two-run homer in the ninth inning and Pittsburgh rallied past visiting San Francisco.
ROYALS 5, WHITE SOX 1: Salvador Perez hit a three-run homer for the second straight day, and visiting Kansas City handed Carlos Rodon his first loss of the season.
ASTROS 6, RANGERS 5: Carlos Correa and Kyle Tucker homered to help Luis Garcia earn his first career win as host Houston held on for its fifth straight victory.
BLUE JAYS 4, PHILLIES 0: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. homered and five Toronto pitchers combined on a six-hitter to beat Philadelphia in Dunedin, Florida.
Phillies star Bryce Harper exited early because of right shoulder soreness.