Yankees sign Wade LeBlanc to a minor league deal

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Wade LeBlanc to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. He can opt out of his deal at the end of spring training and if he makes the major league roster, he will earn a $1 million salary.

LeBlanc, 33, spent last season with the Pirates, posting a 4.50 ERA with a 54/17 K/BB ratio across 68 innings spanning 50 relief appearances. It was the first season in which he was used exclusively out of the bullpen.

The Yankees aren’t hurting for rotation depth, so LeBlanc will likely be competing for a spot in the bullpen. Failing that, he would start the season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre if he decides not to opt out.

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).