Nightengale notes: Bradley, Swisher, Halladay

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today posted a bunch of interesting notes via Twitter today, including:
* Tampa Bay has become “the clear-cut favorite” to acquire Milton Bradley from the Cubs.
Last offseason the Rays pursued Bradley as a free agent before he signed a three-year, $30 million deal with the Cubs and now they can get him for pennies on the dollar. There have been rumors of a Bradley-for-Pat Burrell swap, as Burrell was a huge disappointing in his first season with the Rays and is owed $9 million in 2010.
* Nick Swisher is “ever so quietly” being shopped by the Yankees.
Swisher was credited with helping to energize the Yankees’ clubhouse and more importantly he made a big on-field impact by hitting .249/.371/.498 with 29 homers and 35 doubles, but going 6-for-47 (.128) in the playoffs overshadowed his strong regular season. Could he be an option for the Cardinals if Matt Holliday signs elsewhere?
* Los Angeles is “focusing on” Roy Halladay because the Dodgers “badly need an ace,” but would have to give up Chad Billingsley “and others” to get a deal done.
Billingsley is 24 years old with a 47-30 record and 3.55 ERA in 634 career innings, so dealing him straight-up for one season of Halladay sounds iffy to me. Dealing him “and others” would likely be a mistake given that Halladay can become a free agent next offseason while Billingsley is under team control through 2012.
* Detroit, Seattle, and a “mystery team” have talked about a deal involving Edwin Jackson and Brandon Morrow.
Various rumors last week had the Tigers shopping Jackson because of payroll constraints and the Mariners have soured on Morrow, but obviously this is tough to weigh in on too much without knowing the third party.

Albert Pujols hit his 597th career home run

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Angels DH Albert Pujols smacked his 597th career home run, a two-run shot in the top of the first inning during Wednesday night’s 5-2 loss to the Rays. The blast was off of Erasmo Ramirez and marked No. 6 on the season for the future Hall of Famer.

Pujols finished 1-for-3 with the homer and a walk. After Wednesday’s game, he’s hitting a lackluster .244/.296/.378 with 34 RBI and 14 runs scored in 186 trips to the plate.

Pujols currently ranks ninth on baseball’s all-time leaderboard and is three shy of joining the 600-homer club. He’s currently 13 home runs away from tying Sammy Sosa for eighth all-time.

Chris Sale’s streak of starts with at least 10 strikeouts ends

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Red Sox starter Chris Sale entered Wednesday’s outing against the Rangers with at least 10 strikeouts in eight consecutive starts, tying a record he already shared with Pedro Martinez. He failed do break the record, racking up only six strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings. Fortunately, the Red Sox scored seven runs in the bottom of the seventh to put him in line for the win. Sale gave up four runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk.

After Wednesday’s outing, Sale is sitting on a 2.34 ERA with a 101/14 K/BB ratio in 73 innings. So far, so good for the Red Sox, who acquired Sale from the White Sox in December.

Sale previously racked up 10 strikeouts in eight consecutive games between May 23 and June 30 in 2015 with the White Sox. Pedro Martinez accomplished the feat for the Red Sox between August 19 and September 27 in 1999.