Jayson Werth thinks he has “a few good years left”

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Outfielder Jayson Werth is a free agent heading into his age-39 season (he turns 39 in May), but the veteran thinks he still has “a few good years left,” ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports. Werth says he’s been training hard this offseason and plans to come into spring training in great shape. He is “ready to go and excited about 2018.”

This past season with the Nationals, Werth hit a lackluster .226/.322/.393 with 10 home runs and 29 RBI in 289 plate appearances. He played in only 70 games as a result of a foot injury. Werth hasn’t hit above the league average, going by adjusted OPS, since 2014. Along with battling injuries — he’s played in 301 of a possible 486 games since 2015 — he’s become more of a liability on the bases as well as on defense.

With the free agent market still largely unsettled, Werth may have to wait quite a while until he signs. Free agent outfielders still available include J.D. Martinez, Lorenzo Cain, Cameron Maybin, Jose Bautista, Jay Bruce, Carlos Gomez, Curtis Granderson, and Carlos Gonzalez.

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).