The Los Angeles Angels designated Albert Pujols for assignment on Thursday morning, a move that will lead to Pujols' release by the end of the week.

Perry Minasian said the decision was dictated strictly by the baseball-operations department. The numbers indicated playing time should go to Jared Walsh at first base and Shohei Ohtani at designated hitter.

"It's more about opportunity," Minasian said. "Albert is not a bench player. We felt like, for him, with respect to him, keeping him on the bench, him not getting any playing time, would not do him any good or the team any good."

Pujols is steadfast in his desire to continue playing.

"He wants to play every day at first base," president John Carpino said. "His passion is driving there. He really believes it. And I'm happy that he has that strong belief on what he does."