UPDATE: Albert Pujols' agent leaves Beverly Hills Sports Council

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Pujols headshot.jpgUPDATE: Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that all of Lozano’s clients are expected to come along with him.

9:12 PM: Interesting news. According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, agent Dan Lozano has left Beverly Hills Sports Council.

Lozano, who had been with the firm since 1989, has represented many high-profile players in the past, including Mike Piazza, but he currently represents the “golden ticket” of free agency in the form of Cardinals’ first baseman Albert Pujols. Of course, Pujols is primed to be a free agent after 2011, a contract which figures to be the richest in the history of the sport.

Lozano told Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch the following after Ryan Howard inked a five-year, $125 million extension with the
Phillies in last month.

“It is our opinion, my opinion, that Albert is on an island all by
himself,” asserted Pujols’ agent, Dan Lozano, of Beverly Hills Sports
Council.


“We have to pay attention to any significant multi-year deal, especially
one signed by a big first baseman. But the reality is that there are no
comparables for Albert. He is on an island by himself.”

It’s not immediately clear whether Lozano will continue to work with Pujols following his departure from Beverly Hills Sports Council. I’m guessing he will. Unless, you know, he hates money or something.
 

Watch: Javier Baez snares a 106-MPH ground ball

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What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? Just ask Javier Baez, who tracked down a sizzling 106-MPH ground ball from Jose Bautista on Friday afternoon. The defensive gem helped preserve the Cubs’ three-run lead in the top of the ninth inning, paving the way for Wade Davis‘ 25th save of the season.

Baez also impressed at the plate, collecting an RBI single in the second inning before getting tagged out at home by Miguel Montero on a convoluted 9-6-3-6-2 putout. He returned in the eighth inning to pester Tim Mayza and cleared the left field hedge with a 409-foot, two-run blast for his 20th home run of the year. With the win, the Cubs improved to 64-57 and now hold a scant 1.5-game lead over the Brewers in the NL Central.

Dodgers activate Adrian Gonzalez

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The Dodgers have reinstated first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from the 60-day disabled list after his recovery from a herniated disc. To make room for him they have optioned Rob Segedin to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Gonzalez last played on June 11. Since then the Dodgers have gone an astounding 46-9, with shoe-in rookie of the year candidate Cody Bellinger handling first base duties and posting a .978 OPS. When Gonzalez went down he was hitting .255/.304/.339 and only one homer in 49 games.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of playing time he gets going forward. The Dodgers, of course, have a comfortable lead in the NL West, so they could afford to allow Gonzalez to play a good bit to see if his bat sharpens up while simultaneously giving Bellinger, who has never played more than 137 games in a season, a bit of a breather. Beyond that, though, the Dodgers ain’t broke, so it’s hard to see why anyone would want to tinker with things.