Giants close to re-signing reliever Guillermo Mota

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Free agent reliever Guillermo Mota is “close to an agreement” to re-sign with the Giants, according to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News.

Mota is 38 years old, so presumably it’s a one-year deal, but he was plenty useful in throwing 80 innings with a 3.81 ERA and 77/30 K/BB ratio.

His strikeout rate of 8.6 per nine innings was actually the highest mark of Mota’s 13-season career and he was particularly effective in the second half with a 3.13 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 37 innings.

He earned $925,000 in 2011 after being signed to a minor-league contract last December.

Braves sign Marcell Ozuna to one-year, $18 million deal

Marcell Ozuna
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The Braves have announced on Tuesday evening the signing of free agent outfielder Marcell Ozuna. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that it’s a one-year contract for $18 million.

Ozuna, 29, hit .241/.328/.472 with 29 home runs, 89 RBI, 80 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in 549 plate appearances for the Cardinals last season. He’s been consistently above-average in each of the past four seasons, which also included a career year in 2017 in which he was worth 6.1 WAR, per Baseball Reference.

It is surprising that Ozuna, a two-time All-Star and Gold Glove Award winner, had to settle for a one-year deal. The Braves are happy he did as he will help make up for some of the offense lost when third baseman Josh Donaldson became a free agent and ultimately signed with the Twins. Ozuna can become a free agent again after the 2020 season but won’t have qualifying offer compensation attached to him, part of the reason why his market may have been slow to develop.

Along with Ozuna, the Braves have signed in free agency this offseason reliever Will Smith, starter Cole Hamels, and catcher Travis d'Arnaud. They re-signed relievers Chris Martin and Darren O'Day, catcher Tyler Flowers, infielder Adeiny Hechavarría, and outfielder Nick Markakis.