Albert Pujols’ wife appeared to announce his pending retirement on Monday.
Deidre Pujols posted an ode to his career on Instagram that suggested he won’t play beyond the 2021 season.
“Today is the first day of the last season (based on his contract) of one of the most remarkable careers in sports!” Deidre wrote.
Pujols himself has not announced his plans, and no reports have confirmed that he intends to retire. Also, Deidre left some wiggle room with her “based on his contract” note.
But if this upcoming season is indeed his last, it would make a lot of sense. Pujols is approaching the final year of the historic, backloaded 10-year, $240 million deal he signed with the Los Angeles Angels in 2011. He’s guaranteed $30 million in 2021. He’s guaranteed nothing in 2022.
And at 41 years old, his play has declined substantially from the MVP level that will almost certainly land him in the Baseball Hall of Fame on his first ballot.
Pujols signed with the Angels in 2011 after winning three MVPs and two World Series titles with the St. Louis Cardinals. One of the game’s top sluggers, Pujols faced an outside chance of passing Barry Bonds as baseball’s home run king when he signed with the Angels. But after eclipsing 40 home runs six times with the Cardinals, he’s reached that tally just once in nine seasons with the Angels.
He’ll start the 2021 season with 662 home runs, good for fifth place and 100 behind Bond’s all-time tally of 762.
More from Yahoo Sports: