Yunior Severino signs $2.5 million deal with Twins

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MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reports that infield prospect Yunior Severino signed a $2.5 million deal with the Twins on Friday. The deal has not been publicly confirmed by the team and appears to be pending a physical.

The 18-year-old infielder was one of 13 prospects removed from the Braves’ system last month after they were found guilty of breaking international signing rules. He initially received a $1.9 million bonus from Atlanta and will be allowed to add that to the $2.5 million offered by the Twins.

Severino split his playing time between the rookie-level Gulf Coast League and Dominican Summer League in 2017, slashing a combined .270/.345/.420 with three home runs and 29 RBI in 252 PA. He drew attention as a switch-hitting shortstop but transitioned full-time to second base/DH with the Braves, and continues to show power potential at the plate in spite of a slow start.

MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger notes that Severino is the seventh ex-Braves prospect to sign elsewhere this offseason, joining Guillermo Zuniga (Dodgers), Juan Carlos Negret (Royals), Yefri Del Rosario (Royals), Abrahan Gutierrez (Phillies), Kevin Maitan (Angels) and Livan Soto (Angels).

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).