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Jack Harris and Mike DiGiovanna on the Angels: In the hours after the Angels’ loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night, general manager Perry Minasian and team President John Carpino held a meeting with Albert Pujols.
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During the season’s first month, Pujols had played almost every day as the Angels first baseman. He’d hit five home runs in his first 18 games. But his performances had also dropped off in recent days, the 41-year-old slugger returning to the underwhelming form that had come to define much of his time with the Angels.
Meanwhile, the Angels’ front office had been considering a big decision. The team already had Shohei Ohtani at designated hitter. They wanted Jared Walsh, who’d spent much of the first month in the outfield, to be their primary first baseman. And they knew doing so would relegate Pujols to the bench.
As a result, they spent the past two weeks weighing whether or not to move on from Pujols entirely, deciding if it was time to sever ties with the future Hall of Famer.
On Wednesday night, they pulled the trigger, informing Pujols he would be designated for assignment on Thursday and ultimately released, ending…