Cardinals nearing minor league contract with Alex Cora

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Big news this Super Bowl Sunday. OK, not quite.

According to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, the Cardinals are nearing agreement on a minor league deal with 36-year-old free agent infielder Alex Cora.

It’s not clear whether the pact will include an invitation to spring training, but Cora would be doutbful to crack St. Louis’ Opening Day roster anyway. He batted just .224/.287/.276 with zero homers and six RBI in 172 plate appearances last season and owns a dreadful .648 career OPS.

The Cardinals are likely to roll with an infield of David Freese (3B), Rafael Furcal (SS), Daniel Descalso (2B) and Lance Berkman (1B) this season, with Tyler Greene and Skip Schumaker serving as backups.

Nelson Cruz hits 400th career home run

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Twins DH Nelson Cruz hit his 400th career home run, a solo home run in the fourth inning of Sunday’s game against the Royals. The blast padded the Twins’ lead to 8-6, and was also No. 40 on the season for Cruz.

Cruz, 39, is the 57th member of the 400-homer club. He was previously tied with Andres Galarraga and Al Kaline at 399. Cruz has hit 163 of his homers with the Mariners, 157 with the Rangers, and 40 each with the Orioles and Twins.

Cruz entered Sunday batting .300/.383/.624 with 104 RBI in 500 plate appearances. Pretty good production for the Twins from a slugger on a one-year, $14.3 million contract. The Twins hold a $12 million club option for 2020 as well.