Two weeks after shutting down Nate McLouth with right shoulder soreness the Nationals announced that the veteran outfielder needs season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum.
McLouth played just 79 games and hit .173 for the Nationals in the first season of a two-year, $10.75 million deal that always seemed awfully rich for a fourth outfielder.
His status explains why the Nationals went looking for more outfield depth by signing Cubs castoff Nate Schierholtz to a minor-league contract.
McLouth is owed $5 million next season with a $6.5 million option or $750,000 buyout for 2016.
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.