Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
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Cardinals acquire Marcell Ozuna from 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.

We do not yet have a full report about what the Cards had to give up to get Ozuna, but Jon Heyman reports that righty Sandy Alcantara is one of the players going to Miami. Alcantara, who just turned 22, made his big league debut late in the 2017 season. He went 7-5 with a 4.31 ERA in Double-A this past season. He can throw 100 m.p.h. but he has struggled with control at times. Some have suggested that he’s eventually going to be a reliever, but for now he’s still being developed as a starter.

UPDATE: Joel Sherman has more:

That’s . . . not a fantastic return. Alcantara was a top-10 Cardinals prospect heading into 2017, but he was not a top-100 prospect in all of baseball and, based on this, none of the other ones are either. That the Marlins are giving up a star slugger under team control for two more years for this level of return is not good. Not good at all. At least for them.

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.