Nationals add reliever Chad Durbin on minor-league deal

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Washington wasn’t exactly hurting for bullpen depth, but with so many veteran relievers still looking for homes and willing to sign cheaply Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that the Nationals have signed Chad Durbin to a minor-league deal.

Durbin spent last season in Cleveland and struggled, posting a 5.53 ERA while serving up 12 homers in 68 innings. However, his 59/26 K/BB ratio was still decent and prior to last year he pitched pretty well for the Phillies from 2008-2010.

Drew Storen is the Nationals’ closer and last week they signed Brad Lidge to join Tyler Clippard and Sean Burnett as setup men, so Durbin will have to compete with Henry Rodriguez and Ryan Perry for a middle relief role in spring training.

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.