Injuries have limited free agent right-hander Brandon Morrow to just 87 2/3 IP in the majors over the past two seasons, but that hasn’t stopped teams from expressing interest.
According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Padres have offered Morrow a one-year, incentive-laden contract. He has also received offers from other clubs, though some of them are with a relief role in mind. He would prefer to start.
Morrow missed most of this year with a torn tendon sheath in his right right index finger and missed most of 2013 with an entrapped radial nerve in his right forearm, but he has a ton of talent and is only going into his age-30 season. Pitching in PETCO Park would be an ideal place to reestablish his value. Of course, we said the same thing about Josh Johnson last winter and he ended up never throwing a pitch for the club. That’s the chance you take.
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.