The Los Angeles Dodgers and first baseman Albert Pujols are in agreement on a major league contract, sources told ESPN on Saturday.
The agreement, first reported by the Los Angeles Times, isn’t expected to become official until Monday, a source said.
Pujols, in the last year of his 10-year, $240 million contract, was designated for assignment by the Los Angeles Angels on May 6 and was officially released on Thursday after clearing waivers.
The slugger is making $30 million this season, and the Dodgers will pay him only the prorated portion of the major league minimum salary for the rest of the season, roughly $420,000. The rest will be paid by the Angels.
Max Muncy has started 32 of the Dodgers’ first 38 games at first base, but he also provides the versatility to help at third base and second base, which would open up some playing time for Pujols at first base.
The Dodgers entered Saturday with a .663 OPS against opposing left-handed pitchers this season, .136 less than the team’s OPS against righties.
Pujols, one of the best right-handed-hitters in baseball history, could help with that. Pujols was batting only .198/.250/.372 in his first 92 plate appearances this season, but his .513 expected slugging percentage suggested he had also been running into some bad luck.
He is fifth in major league history with 667 homers and 13th with 3,253 hits. A three-time National League MVP and two-time World Series champion with the St. Louis Cardinals, Pujols has a .298 career average and .921 OPS. He is a 10-time All-Star.
Pujols was in a 7-for-43 slump at the time he was cut.
He batted .328 with a 1.037 OPS in St. Louis, but hit .256 with a .758 OPS in Anaheim along with 222 homers.
Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts and Clayton Kershaw. According to Elias Sports Bureau research, the Dodgers are the fourth team in MLB history to feature four former MVP winners, joining the 1978 Reds, 1982 Angels and most recently the 1996 Red Sox.
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.
The Dodgers and Angels play 35 miles apart in the L.A. 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.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.