Cubs could be targeting Alex Cobb in Javier Baez talks with Rays

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Reports surfaced earlier today that the Rays have been in talks with the Cubs about a trade for young slugger Javier Baez. As for a possible return package for Chicago, most of the speculation has centered around late-inning relievers Jake McGee and Brad Boxberger and starters Drew Smyly, Matt Moore, Jake Odorizzi, and Erasmo Ramirez. However, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times hears that an interesting name has come up in talks:

Cobb wouldn’t be able to help the Cubs right away. The 28-year-old underwent Tommy John surgery in May and will likely be sidelined until the second half next year. There’s big-time upside if he comes back healthy, though. Cobb had a 2.82 ERA in 49 starts from 2013-2014.

Cobb made $4 million in 2015 and is arbitration-eligible for the second time this winter. He’s under team control through 2017.

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).