MLB notes: Pujols has bait to chase Bonds

Albert Pujols hits a home run against the Rangers in Arlington, Tex., Oct. 22, 2011. (BRIAN...

Albert Pujols hits a home run against the Rangers in Arlington, Tex., Oct. 22, 2011. (BRIAN SNYDER/Reuters)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:35 PM ET

Albert Pujols has some extra incentive to swing for the fences.

The first baseman's 10-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels reportedly includes a $7-million bonus if he reaches 763 home runs to break Barry Bonds' career record.

Pujols, who will turn 32 in January, has hit 445 home runs, all with his former team, the St. Louis Cardinals.

The free-agent acquisition would need to average about 32 home runs a season over the length of his contract with the Angels to reach the milestone.

Pujols also will get a $3-million bonus if he reaches 3,000 hits. He now has 2,073.

CARDS GET A BELTER

Carlos Beltran won't make St. Louis Cardinals fans get over the loss of Albert Pujols, but the outfielder could put a bit more oomph in the batting order.

The Cardinals confirmed Friday the reports that Beltran had agreed to a two-year deal contingent on a physical. The contract is said to be worth $26 million.

Beltran, 34, hit .300 with 22 home runs and 84 RBI in 2011 for the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants. It is expected he will play right field, with Lance Berkman shifting to Pujols' old position at first base.

"We did not want to go into the season without addressing (the depth) in the outfield," Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak told the St. Louis Post Dispatch. "We saw this as an opportunity because we viewed him as another impact hitter we could bring to the lineup."

EPSTEIN SEEKS DEPTH

Chicago Cubs president Theo Epstein said Friday there is still work left after finalizing a trade which sent left-handed reliever Sean Marshall to the Cincinnati Reds for left-handed starter Travis Wood, outfielder Dave Sappelt and minor-league Ronald Torreyes.

"I don't think we are done," Cubs president Theo Epstein told ESPN Chicago. "I do think we still need to build more depth on the starting pitching front, both in the big leagues and minor leagues.

"But it doesn't happen overnight. You have to make sacrifices. Just like moving Sean Marshall, who (would have been) an asset for the 2012 club."

Marshall, 29, spent six seasons with Chicago.

In exchange the Cubs get youth: Wood and Sappelt are 24, Torreyes is 19.

Epstein admitted that his top starter, Matt Garza, could be trade bait in a bid to add more depth to the Cubs.

"Matt Garza is the type of pitcher you want to build around," Epstein said.

"It's hard to find top-of-the-rotation guys, so if you have them, and if there's a way to keep them around, that's always compelling for the club. With that said, we've been honest. We are in a mode where we have to listen on everybody. And if there's a way to improve the long-term outlook for this club in a significant manner, we can't look past opportunities."

BRIEFLY

The Minnesota Twins say first baseman Justin Morneau is doing well in his recovery from post-concussion syndrome. They have their fingers crossed that the native of New Westminster, B.C. will be ready for training camp. Morneau has played just 150 games combined the past two seasons ... Outfielder Carlos Quentin's name is still floating out there as a trade possibility. The Chicago White Sox might be willing to move the 29-year-old because he is eligible for free agency after the 2012 season. Prospect Dayan Viciedo could replace Quentin in the outfield, alongside Alex Rios and Alejandro De Aza ... Left-handed pitcher Cesar Cabral, who was taken by the Yankees in the Rule 5 draft, has been impressive pitching in the Dominican Republic. Cabral, who was selected from the Red Sox, posted a 0.77 ERA in his first 19 relief appearances, striking out 13 while walking only three. Opposing hitters were batting .171 against Cabral, 22, who will try to win a job in the Yankees bullpen.


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