Report: Padres re-sign Craig Stammen to two-year deal

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The Padres are set to re-sign right-handed reliever Craig Stammen to a two-year, $4.5 million contract, per reports from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman and The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. The deal includes incentives of $100,000 for every fifth appearance he makes, from his 20th game until his 50th, and $150,000 for both his 55th and 56th appearances (via Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports). The team has yet to announce the signing.

In 2017, Stammen made a triumphant return to the majors after missing nearly two years with two torn flexor tendons in his right forearm. Armed with a working forearm and a newly-tweaked changeup, the 33-year-old delivered a 3.14 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and 8.3 SO/9 in 80 1/3 innings, proving himself more than capable of replicating the results that made him so valuable to the Nationals during his peak season in 2013.

Those results — including a sub-3.00 ERA and 1.0+ fWAR — are exactly what the Padres hope to get out of the veteran righty in 2018. While there’s no guarantee that Stammen’s injury woes are fully behind him, it’s safe to say that he appears to have made a full recovery after avoiding the disabled list for the entirety of 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).