Retired All-Star Albert Pujols open to coaching role in future

Albert Pujols is open to transitioning into coaching. Eventually. Just not yet.

The retired slugger popped into the St. Louis Cardinals' spring training camp Thursday to visit with former teammates, and while he believes coaching or some other role within Major League Baseball will happen, he's not eager to give a timetable.

"Listen, 23 years and 24 years following a schedule from February all the way to October is tough," said Pujols, who retired in October after 22 years split mostly between the Cardinals and the Los Angeles Angels. "Now I have the freedom to have my own schedule. That's something that I'm grateful about."

Pujols spent a week as a special assistant with the Angels in Arizona shortly after camp opened but the dalliance was just that. He's embracing retired life after a career that ended with 703 home runs, fourth on the all-time list.

The future Hall of Famer likely wouldn't have to look hard to find work whenever the time comes. Yet he's in no hurry. There's too much golf to play, too many members of his family to visit for now. He even made an appearance in the NBA celebrity game as part of the league's All-Star Weekend last month.

Pujols stressed he wasn't going to put a "stamp" on when the right time will be to return to the game in a larger capacity.

"If it happens next year, it's great," he said. "Knowing myself, I think I'll let that moment come and I'll revisit if it's something I think that works, I'll do it for sure."