Angels designated hitter Albert Pujols had three hits in last night’s win over the Mariners. Two of those hits were homers — number 629 and 630 of his career — and they tied him with Ken Griffey Jr. on the all-time home run list.
The current and future Hall of Famer are now at sixth place all time, 30 behind the number 5 man on the list, Willie Mays. Alex Rodriguez is another 36 ahead at 696.
Pujols is hitting .251/.291/.432 and is currently on pace for 28 homers this year. That would put him at 642 by the end of the season. He’s under contract through 2021. If he stays healthy, at least for him, and if the Angels don’t release him, he has at least a chance to hit 700 homers I figure, even if A-Rod is the last guy he has a real chance of passing.
The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.
Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.
While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.