Marlins reach three-year, $27M agreement with Heath Bell

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The run on high-priced free agent closers rolls on.

According to Jayson Stark of ESPN.com, the Marlins have reached agreement on a three-year, $27 million contract with veteran righty Heath Bell.

His contract also includes a vesting option for 2015.

Bell has managed a 2.36 ERA and 1.16 WHIP over the past three seasons in San Diego and is likely to do a fine job at the back end of the Miami bullpen over the duration of his new three-year deal, but $9 million annually is a steep price for a team with many other holes that need patching.

Then again, the Marlins probably aren’t done spending.

The deal will be finalized after Bell takes a pre-signing physical Friday in Miami. Juan Carlos Oviedo (er, Leo Nunez) is likely to be non-tendered this winter. He’s still working on re-entering the United States.

UPDATE, 11:59 PM: FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal says the vesting option for 2015 is worth $9 million.

Cardinals acquire Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins

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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.