The Nationals and Phillies are nearing a trade for Jonathan Papelbon

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According to Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post, the Nationals are nearing a deal for Jonathan Papelbon.

We discussed this earlier today, of course. Papelbon has been fantastic this year, posting a 1.59 ERA with 40 strikeouts and eight walks over 39 2/3 innings and going 17-for-17 in save chances. If he closes — and he wants to close — he will almost certainly cause his 2016 option to vest, which will pay him $13 million next year.

Still, seems like a decent pickup for Washington, even with the cost, as their future is now.

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

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ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.

Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.

The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.

The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.

Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.

Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).