Report: Orioles view Justin Upton as Chris Davis “fallback” option

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Baltimore made Chris Davis an offer to re-sign believed to be worth around $150 million, but it may or may not still be on the table and in the meantime Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that the Orioles are “staying in contact” with free agent outfielder Justin Upton as a potential “fallback” option should Davis go elsewhere.

Upton is two years younger than Davis, but he’s less versatile defensively, less productive overall, and has very good power rather than elite-level power. Still, as far as fallback options go a 28-year-old with an .825 career OPS is a pretty good one.

It seems clear that a) the Orioles are prepared to spend huge money on a free agent hitter, b) they specifically want a slugger, and c) they’d rather keep Davis than replace him with Upton if possible.

Baltimore would have to forfeit a draft pick to sign Upton, whereas re-signing Davis wouldn’t require doing so, but if the Orioles were to lose Davis as a free agent they’d receive a draft pick as compensation anyway.

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).