Albert Pujols

Albert Pujols becomes fifth player with 1,000 extra-base hits at age 33

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Albert Pujols went 4-for-4 with two doubles last night, raising his OPS above 1.200, and in the process reached 1,000 extra-base hits for his career.

Pujols is 35th all time in extra-base hits and has a chance to move into the 20-25 range by the end of the year, which is his age-33 season. Here’s the all-time leaderboard for extra-base hits through age 33:

Jimmie Foxx       1077
Alex Rodriguez    1055
Lou Gehrig        1040
Hank Aaron        1016
Albert Pujols     1000

Pujols had 80 extra-base hits last season, so he definitely has a chance to surpass Jimmie Foxx as the all-time leader through age 33.

Pujols’ reaction to joining that club is pretty amusing, via Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com:

I didn’t even know anything about it. I can swear on that, bro. When I got to the dugout, everybody was like, “Congratulations.” I’m like, “What are you talking about?” The bat boy was the first one to say, “I got your ball.” I’m like, “For what?” He told me a thousand doubles. I’m like, “A thousand doubles? That’s a lot.”

Congrats anyway, bro.

Phillies sign outfielder Michael Saunders

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 3: Michael Saunders #21 of the Toronto Blue Jays runs to first after being walked during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 3, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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The Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Michael Saunders.

Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 due to his wonderful start, but he cratered in the second half of the season. Overall is numbers looked good — he hit 24 homers and posted a line of .253/.338/.478, but his second half line was .178/.282/.357 in 58 games. He’s not the best defender around either.

The Phillies could use him, however, and if he has another red hot first half, there’s a decent chance they could flip him if they wanted to.

Jose Bautista and the Blue Jays nearing a two-year, $35-40 million deal

Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista flips his bat after hitting a three-run homer during seventh inning game 5 American League Division Series baseball action in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.

Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.

The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.