Joakim Soria’s contract with the Royals has incentives based on games started

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The Royals just finalized their new reported three-year, $25 million contract with Joakim Soria. The deal includes a $10 million mutual option for a fourth year, with a $1 million buyout.

Soria was a closer during his first stint with the Royals from 2007-2011, but the expectation is that he’ll serve as a set-up man for Wade Davis this time around. However, there is an interesting detail in his contract:

As McCullough later clarified, these incentives would be for each year of the contract. Soria has pitched exclusively as a reliever in the majors, but he started some games in the minors. That was nearly 10 years ago, though. Perhaps nothing will come of this, as there are also incentives based on games finished in there, but that this was even included at all suggests that it’s at least a possibility. Something to file away for later, maybe.

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).