Report: Yankees sign Oliver Perez to minor leage deal

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Marc Carig of The Athletic reports that the Yankees have inked free agent reliever Oliver Perez to a minor league deal. He stands to make just over $1 million if he earns a spot on the major league roster this season. The team has yet to confirm the signing.

Perez, 36, was released by the Reds earlier this month. The veteran left-hander signed on with the club back in February and disappointed in a handful of Cactus League performances, racking up 10 runs, three homers, four walks and nine strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings. He fared little better in the majors last year, however, and finished off a two-year run with the Nationals by turning in a 4.64 ERA, 3.3 BB/9 and 10.6 SO/9 over 33 innings.

Per Carig, the signing was hastened by a groin injury to rookie right-hander Giovanny Gallegos. Gallegos, 26, is currently ranked no. 22 in the Yankees’ system. He got his first taste of the big leagues in 2017, delivering a 4.86 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 9.7 SO/9 in 20 1/3 innings with the team. He’s expected to start the season on the disabled list, which would give Perez the opening he needs to secure a role on the Yankees’ major league roster this spring.

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).