Braves pitching prospect Billy Bullock has been suspended 50 games following a second violation of the minor league drug prevention and treatment program for a “drug of abuse.”
Bullock was Minnesota’s second-round pick in 2009 out of the University of Florida, but the Twins traded him to the Braves for the ability to keep Rule 5 pick Scott Diamond in the minors instead of the big-league roster in 2011.
Bullock throws in the mid-90s and has impressive strikeout totals at every level, totaling 283 in 218 career innings, but he’s also walked 6.0 batters per nine frames and was a mess between Double-A and Triple-A this year.
Diamond, meanwhile, has developed into a middle-of-the-rotation starter for the Twins with a 3.82 ERA in 212 career innings in the majors.
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.