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.
 

Video: Jake Arrieta hits a 465-foot home run off of Zack Greinke

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Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.

The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.

Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.

Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.

Luis Valbuena to miss four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring

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Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.

Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.

Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.