The Astros and Red Sox were scheduled to play two exhibition games in Houston just before opening day. Actually, one of them was going to be on Opening Day. I missed this from a few days ago, but that latter one has been cancelled because the league apparently doesn’t like teams playing games that don’t count on days that really do. The March 30th game will still happen. The March 31st game won’t.
Given that both the Red Sox and Astros have games scheduled out of town on April 1st — the Sox in Dallas the Astros in Philadelphia — you have to think that everyone except the Minute Maid Park vendors are happy with this decision.
The St. Louis Cardinals have acquired Marcell Ozuna from the Miami Marlins. Craig Mish of Sirius XM was the first to report that the deal was done. Ozuna still has to take a physical.
There is no report yet about what the Cards had to give up to get Ozuna, but given that the Cards and Marlins put a deal together for Giancarlo Stanton, the sides certainly have discussed various Cards prospects recently.
Ozuna fills a major need for the Cardinals, who had serious weaknesses in the middle of the order in 2017. Last year their number three hitters hit a combined .246/.338/.425 and their cleanup hitters hit 270/.350/.444. Ozuna, 27, had a fantastic offensive year in 2017, hitting .312/.376/.548 with 37 home runs and 124 RBI in 159 games.
Ozuna made $3.5 million this past season and is due for arbitration this offseason. He is under contractual control through 2019.