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.
 

Padres may have more interest in Dallas Keuchel than Bryce Harper

Dallas Keuchel
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An interesting tidbit today from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who noted that ongoing talks between agent Scott Boras and the Padres have focused more on starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel than slugger Bryce Harper. Earlier this week, there were conflicting reports on the Padres’ level of interest in Harper — MLB Network’s Jon Heyman heard the club had not ruled out another big signing after getting Manny Machado, while Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune talked to multiple sources who believed otherwise — but any agreement between the two is looking unlikelier by the day.

As for Keuchel, Rosenthal cautions that a potential deal is still a “longshot,” especially as the team has other, cheaper options in mind. The 31-year-old southpaw turned down a qualifying offer from the Astros last year and is likely angling for something north of the five-year, $90 million contract extension he rejected from the club in 2016. He’s coming off of another solid performance in Houston, where he went 12-11 in 34 starts with a 3.74 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 6.7 SO/9, and 3.6 fWAR through 204 2/3 innings in 2018.

While Keuchel has failed to garner substantial interest around the league this offseason, Heyman points out that the Phillies are looking to establish themselves as frontrunners for the lefty — and they’re far less likely to have hang-ups about his asking price, too.