Albert Pujols has a bold if unrealistic prediction for his 2019 season.

"I'm expecting to play 162 games," the Los Angeles Angels first baseman said Sunday. "One hundred ninety games I'm going to play this year, including spring training."

A month past his 39th birthday, Pujols is an 18-year big league veteran, 10-time All-Star and three-time MVP.

"He will not be playing 190, I promise you that," new Angels manager Brad Ausmus said.

Pujols had knee surgery last August. He appeared in 117 games and had 465 at-bats, while hitting .245 with 19 home runs and 64 RBI.

 

Ohtani recovering

Shohei Ohtani hopes to hit off a tee next week for the first time since Tommy John surgery.

"That's the thought, but I'm not trying to rush myself," the two-way Los Angeles Angels star said Sunday.

The AL Rookie of the Year had surgery Oct. 1 to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament, and the Angels think the earliest he could be ready to hit in games is in May. The 24-year-old hopes to start the pitching phase of his rehabilitation at the end of spring training.

Ohtani went 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA in 10 starts as a pitcher. He played 104 games overall as a rookie, hitting .285 with 22 homers and 61 RBI. 

 

Moustakas close to deal

A person familiar with the negotiations says Mike Moustakas and the Brewers are nearing a deal that would keep the third baseman in Milwaukee for a guarantee of about $10 million.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Sunday because the agreement will be subject to a successful physical. The sides were negotiating a deal that would include a club option for 2020, the person said.

Moustakas' deal would be the second in a row for one guaranteed year on the free-agent market.

 

Padres, Loup agree

Left-hander Aaron Loup and the San Diego Padres have agreed to a one-year contract that guarantees $1.4 million, a deal that includes a team option for 2020.

Loup gets a $1.2 million salary this year under the agreement announced Sunday. San Diego's option is for $2 million with a $200,000 buyout.

He can earn an additional $800,000 annually in performance bonuses based on appearances.

A 31-year-old reliever, Loup had a 4.54 ERA in 59 games last year for Toronto and Philadelphia, which acquired him July 31. He struck out 44 and walked 14 in 39 2/3 innings.