Albert Pujols has reportedly agreed a deal to return to the St. Louis Cardinals.

According to ESPN's Aidan Gonzalez, the future Hall of Famer signed a one-year, $2.5million contract to return to the club where he made his name and possibly bookend his career.

Once the 42-year-old completes his physical, Pujols will officially return to the Cardinals, where he won three National League MVPs, made nine All-Star Game appearances and claimed two World Series titles between 2001 and 2011.

He subsequently spent nine and a half seasons with the Los Angeles Angels before ending last year on the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Back in St. Louis, Pujols appears set to play in a part-time role, as a designated hitter against left-handed pitchers and as a late-game pinch-hitter.

In his MLB career to date, Pujols has tallied 3,301 hits, 679 home runs and 2,150 RBIs in 21 seasons.

Dave Roberts has signed a three-year extension with the Los Angeles Dodgers, keeping him under contract through the 2025 MLB season.

Roberts had been about to enter the final year of his existing agreement as the Dodgers' manager.

But the team have struck a deal with their World Series-winning manager two weeks before their 2022 opener against the Colorado Rockies.

"I'm very happy to have the opportunity to continue leading this great team into the future," Roberts said in a statement.

"To be able to wear the Dodgers uniform, and represent this world-class organisation on and off the field, is truly an honour.

"From the players to the front office staff, every single person affiliated with the club has played a vital role in the team's success throughout my tenure.

"I look forward to continuing our quest to be the best in baseball each and every year."

Roberts was named Dodgers manager in 2016 after only a single game in charge of the San Diego Padres as interim manager the previous season.

He was the National League Manager of the Year in his first season in LA, then led the Dodgers to the World Series in each of the next two years, losing to the Houston Astros and the Boston Red Sox.

Roberts had been a member of the Red Sox team that ended the Curse of the Bambino by winning the World Series in 2004.

And he finally delivered success for the Dodgers in 2020, beating the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2 for their first World Series title since 1988.

Roberts is targeting further glory this year, telling The Dan Patrick Show this week: "We are winning the World Series. That's our focus. That's our goal."

The 49-year-old has a 542-330 record as manager in the major leagues, his .622 winning percentage the best of anyone in National League or American League history and fifth all-time behind four Negro Leagues managers.

Los Angeles Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani will get an early opportunity to display his two-way talents again in MLB in 2022, starting at both pitcher and designated hitter on Opening Day. 

Ohtani was the clear American League MVP in 2021 after starring on the mound as well as at the plate. 

The Japanese sensation finished the season with a 3.18 ERA and 9-2 record while hitting 46 home runs – third behind Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Salvador Perez (both 48). 

A new rule this season, which allows Ohtani to continue to hit in the lineup after he exits as a pitcher, should work to the Angels' benefit. 

It was no surprise then that manager Joe Maddon confirmed on Friday the 27-year-old would be the team's starter at home to the Houston Astros on April 7. 

"It just tastes right, feels right, is right," Maddon said, before detailing the conversation he had with Ohtani. 

"It was, 'Well, if I have to.' Something like that. He's self-deprecating. He's got that kind of sense of humour. He's a good man." 

The Angels will be hoping for a much-improved season in 2022, having finished last year fourth in the AL West with a 77-85 record, missing the playoffs for a seventh straight year. 

Those underwhelming results led Ohtani, who is out of contract after the 2023 season, to express his frustration about playing on a losing team, prompting suggestions he wanted to leave LA. 

Max Stassi has committed to the Los Angeles by signed a three-year extension, the team confirmed on Thursday.

The 31-year-old catcher has signed a new deal worth $17.5 million, which includes a "$7.5m club option with a $500,000 buyout for the 2025 season", according to an official announcement on the team's website.

Stassi had previously agreed to a $3m contract for the 2022 season to avoid arbitration, though this new deal enabled the Angels to buy out two free agency years, with the possibility of three should they pick up the club option.

Since joining the Angels from the Houston Astros in 2019, Stassi has proven himself to be one of the better catchers in Major League Baseball, particularly impressing in his offense.

During the shortened 2020 season he batted .278/.352/.533, with nine extra-base hits in 105 appearances at the plate, before hitting .241/.326/.426 with 13 homers and 35 RBIs in 87 games in 2021.

The Angels beat the Chicago Cubs, 5-4, on Thursday at Tempe Diablo Stadium in a Cactus League Spring training game.

Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve was surprised about long-time team-mate Carlos Correa's move to the Minnesota Twins.

The pair, who won the 2017 World Series together and were part of the Astros' side that lost last year's edition 4-2 to the Atlanta Braves, will be split up after Correa inked a bumper deal with the Twins.

Correa was declared a free agent for the first time in his career in November and rejected a qualifying offer from the Astros, before the Twins won the race to land him amid interest from several top teams.

Despite that interest and two-time All-Star Correa arguably being the most coveted free agent left on the market, the 27-year-old ended up with the Twins, who finished last in the American League (AL) Central last season with a 73-89 record.

"I was surprised. I wasn't expecting that," Altuve said. "Obviously we're going to miss him. He's a great player and a great guy inside the clubhouse. He was one of our leaders."

Altuve, who played alongside Correa since 2015, added: "Now that he's on another team, I'm happy for him. He got a great deal. Happy for him. I know he's going to play good. He's going to make the Twins better."

Shortstop Correa has reportedly signed with the Twins on a three-year, $105.3million deal, making him the MLB's highest paid infielder on average annual salary.

Correa is a career .277 hitter with 133 home runs, batting at .279 with 26 home runs and 92 RBIs last season, along with claiming his first Gold Glove. Puerto Rico-born Correa finished fifth in AL MVP voting last season.

Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve was surprised about long-time teammate Carlos Correa's move to the Minnesota Twins.

The pair, who won the 2017 World Series together and were part of the Astros' side that lost last year's edition 4-2 to the Atlanta Braves, will be split up after Correa inked a bumper deal with the Twins.

Correa was declared a free agent for the first time in his career in November and rejected a qualifying offer from the Astros, before the Twins won the race to land him amid interest from several top teams.

Despite that interest and two-time All-Star Correa arguably being the most coveted free agent left on the market, the 27-year-old ended up with the Twins, who finished last in the American League (AL) Central last season with a 73-89 record.

"I was surprised. I wasn't expecting that," Altuve said. "Obviously we're going to miss him. He's a great player and a great guy inside the clubhouse. He was one of our leaders."

Altuve, who played alongside Correa since 2015, added: "Now that he's on another team, I'm happy for him. He got a great deal. Happy for him. I know he's going to play good. He's going to make the Twins better."

Shortstop Correa has reportedly signed with the Twins on a three-year, $105.3million deal, making him the MLB's highest paid infielder on average annual salary.

Correa is a career .277 hitter with 133 home runs, batting at .279 with 26 home runs and 92 RBIs last season, along with claiming his first Gold Glove. Puerto Rico-born Correa finished fifth in AL MVP voting last season.

The Miami Marlins have agreed to a three-year, $36million contract with 2021 World Series MVP Jorge Soler, according to ESPN.

The 30-year-old, who is a two-time World Series champion, has signed a deal that includes opt-outs after the first two seasons.

Soler had joined the Atlanta Braves from the Kansas City Royals in July last year, before dominating the World Series.

The Havana-born outfielder hit .300 with three home runs and six RBIs in the six-game World Series victory over the Houston Astros.

Soler has 121 home runs and 343 RBIs in 661 career MLB games with the Royals, Braves and Chicago Cubs.

The Chicago Cubs have announced the acquisition of 2021 World Series champion Drew Smyly on a one-year contract with an option for 2023.

Smyly joins the Cubs from the Atlanta Braves on a deal worth $5.25million with the potential to earn an additional $2.5m in bonuses, according to ESPN.

The 32-year-old left-handed pitcher won the World Series with the Braves last season where he pitched twice, allowing three runs over four innings against the Houston Astros.

Smyly went 11-4 with a 4.48 ERA in 29 appearances (23 starts) for the Braves last season.

The former Detroit Tigers, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants and Braves pitcher is 46-39 with a 4.18 ERA across his MLB career.

The Cubs, who finished 71-91 last season, also confirmed one-year agreements with left-hander Daniel Norris and infielder Jonathan Villar.

Five-time All-Star Freddie Freeman will leave the reigning world champion Atlanta Braves for the Los Angeles Dodgers on a bumper multi-year deal according to ESPN.

The 2020 National League (NL) MVP has agreed to a six-year, $162million deal with the Dodgers after reaching free agency for the first time in his career.

The 32-year-old has spent his whole professional career with the Braves dating back to 2007, before guiding them to their first World Series triumph since 1995 last year.

California-native Freeman hit .300 with 31 home runs, 83 RBIs and a NL-best 120 runs in their triumphant 2021 MLB season.

The Dodgers' blockbuster move for Freeman follows lucrative deals for Trevor Bauer in 2021 and Mookie Betts in 2020.

Freeman had rejected the Braves' qualifying offer after his contract expired following the World Series triumph, before becoming a free agent in November.

The Braves had signed Matt Olson earlier this week on an eight-year deal, making Freeman's exit more probable, with the Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees also pursuing him.

The Dodgers are yet to confirm the deal with the move subject to Freeman completing a physical.

"Did that really happen?" Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said on Thursday. "Once Atlanta made that deal for Olson, it kind of came to pass. We're a much better ball club today than we were yesterday."

Four-time All-Star Kris Bryant and the Colorado Rockies have agreed to a seven-year $182million contract according to reports.

The 2016 World Series champion and 2016 National League (NL) MVP will join the Rockies after being traded to the San Francisco Giants from the Chicago Cubs in July last year.

The 30-year-old third baseman hit a combined .265 with 25 home runs and 73 RBIs last season for both the Cubs and Giants, earning All-Star selection for the fourth time.

Bryant also had eight hits in the Giants' National League Division Series 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Rockies missed the postseason after a 74-87 season where they finished fourth in the NL West as they embarked on a roster upheaval. The bumper multi-year deal reportedly includes a no-trade clause.

San Diego Padres superstar Fernando Tatis Jr had surgery on his broken left wrist on Wednesday, and is expected to be out of action for three months.

Padres general manager A.J. Preller said the team believes Tatis sustained the injury early in the off-season, but that he only started noticing the symptoms when he started swinging a bat again.

While it has not been confirmed by the organisation, there were reports that Tatis was involved in a motorcycle accident in the Dominican Republic in December.

Tatis, 23, is entering the second year of his 14-year, $340million deal after an incredible start to his career.

Despite missing time in 2021 due to left shoulder inflammation, Tatis still managed to lead the National League with 42 home runs in just 130 games.

He hit .282, stole 25 bases and had the league's third-highest OPS at .975, finishing the year third in the NL in MVP voting.

Zack Greinke is returning to where he started his major league career, agreeing to a one-year, $13 million contract with the Kansas City Royals, pending a physical, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

The Royals selected Greinke with the sixth overall pick of the 2002 draft and he made his MLB debut for the club two years later.

Spending his first seven seasons in Kansas City, Greinke won the 2009 AL Cy Young Award with a league-leading 2.16 ERA and 242 strikeouts in 229 1/3 innings.

Pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2015, he won his second ERA title, recording a 1.66 ERA, and finished second in NL Cy Young voting.

The 38-year-old, who has been selected to six All-Star Games and has won six Gold Gloves, has also pitched for the Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Angels, Arizona Diamondbacks and spent the last three seasons with the Houston Astros.

In 29 starts and one appearance out of the bullpen last season, the right-hander went 11-6 with a 4.16 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in a team-leading 171 innings.

The ERA and WHIP were both his highest since 2016, when he posted a 4.37 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in his first season for Arizona.

He ranks 23rd on the all-time strikeout list with 2,809 and third behind Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander among active pitchers, but his strikeout rate of 6.32 per nine innings last season was his lowest since it was at 5.61 during his second year in the majors in 2005.

The Chicago Cubs owners, the Ricketts family, and billionaire hedge fund tycoon Ken Griffin have partnered together to launch a bid to buy Chelsea.

Blues owner Roman Abramovich, who has been sanctioned by the United Kingdom government following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, is attempting to sell the Premier League club.

The deadline for bids is expected to be Friday, with a plethora of investors interested – including British billionaire and boyhood Blues fan Nick Candy.

The Ricketts family, who became major shareholders of Major League Baseball's Cubs in 2009, have reportedly combined with American Griffin to form a consortium capable of taking over at Stamford Bridge.

A widely reported statement from the Ricketts family on Wednesday confirmed their role in the bid and added: "As long-time operators of an iconic professional sports team, the Ricketts Family and their partners understand the importance of investing for success on the pitch, while respecting the traditions of the club, the fans and the community.

"We look forward to sharing further details of our plans in due course."

The Cubs' owners have overseen an impressive period of success at the franchise, both on and off the field.

Chicago ended a 108-year wait for World Series success in 2016 and completed a $1billion renovation of home ground Wrigley Field, a project which is thought to appeal to Chelsea fans demanding improvements to Stamford Bridge.

Abramovich, whose 19-year tenure at the London club is soon set to come to an end, had his British assets – including Chelsea – frozen last week and was disqualified as director of the club.

The Russian has owned Chelsea since 2003, with the club claiming 21 trophies during his spell at the helm.

 

 

The reigning World Series champion Atlanta Braves appear to be moving on from free agent and fan favourite Freddie Freeman at first base, having acquired Matt Olson from the Oakland Athletics on Monday.

The Braves are sending four prospects – outfielder Cristian Pache, catcher Shea Langeliers and right-handed pitchers Ryan Cusick and Joey Estes – to Oakland in return for the left-handed slugger.

The 27-year-old Olson, who was raised in the Atlanta suburbs, enjoyed a breakout season in 2021 and was named to his first All-Star Game, leading the A's in homers (39), doubles (35), RBIs (111) and OPS (.911).

Since his first full season in the majors in 2017, his 142 home runs are tied with Mike Trout for 10th in MLB.

The addition of Olson signals that the Braves will be moving on from Freeman, who has spent his entire 12-year career in Atlanta, culminating with a World Series championship last November.

A five-time All-Star and the 2020 National League MVP, the 32-year-old Freeman is a career .295-hitter and ranks sixth on the Braves all-time home run list with 271 and third in doubles with 367.

All-Star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. could be sidelined up to three months with a fractured left wrist that will likely require surgery, San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller said on Monday.

The 23-year-old Tatis hurt his wrist earlier in the offseason, according to Preller, and the injury reappeared when he intensified baseball activities leading up to the start of spring training.

The injury is a major let-down for one of the brightest young stars in baseball on a Padres team hoping to make a return to the playoffs in 2022 after collapsing down the stretch last season, finishing 79-83.

Despite missing time in 2021 due to left shoulder inflammation, Tatis still managed to lead the National League with 42 home runs in just 130 games.

He hit .282, stole 25 bases and had the league's third-highest OPS at .975, finishing the year third in the NL in MVP voting.

The Padres are scheduled to begin the season on April 7 against the Arizona Diamondbacks, and will play their home opener a week later against the reigning World Series champion Atlanta Braves.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.