Cardinals minor leaguer Brandon Dickson headed to Japan

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Brandon Dickson, a Cardinals pitcher who spent most of the past three seasons at Triple-A while also making eight appearances in the majors, is headed to Japan.

B.J. Rains of FOX Sports Midwest reports that the Cardinals will drop Dickson from their 40-man roster in order for him to sign with the Orix Buffaloes.

Dickson was a starter at Triple-A, posting a 3.59 ERA in 466 total innings there, but at age 28 he didn’t seem to have a place in the Cardinals’ long-term plans.

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.