Diamondbacks sign Nick Ahmed to four-year, $32.5 million contract extension

Nick Ahmed
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The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that the club inked shortstop Nick Ahmed to a four-year contract extension. According to MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert, the deal is for $32.5 million in total and includes performance incentives.

Ahmed, who turns 30 years old next month, was in his third and final year of arbitraton eligibility, so this extension effectively buys out three free agency years as well. He and the team previously couldn’t agree on a salary for the 2020 season. Ahmed filed for $6.95 million while the team countered at $6.6 million.

Over parts of six seasons, all with the D-Backs, Ahmed has hit .236/.289/.387. Though he leaves a bit to be desired offensively, he has been steadily improving in that regard and ranks among the game’s best defensive shortstops. He has won Gold Glove Awards in each of the last two seasons.

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).