Marlins players skipped annual team charity event this week

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Things are really ugly with the Marlins right now, both on and off the field. The team held their annual Fish ‘N Chips casino-style charity event Thursday night and advertised that fans would get an opportunity to “rub elbows” with some of their favorite players. However, none of the players showed up.

According to Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald, attending the event was not mandatory. However, a handful of players committed to going before ultimately bailing. Fans paid between $100 and $175 to come to the event.

Marlins president David Samson said he was disappointed with how things unfolded and planned to address the situation with the players. That’s not going to be awkward at all, especially after they put a manager with no experience in the dugout earlier this week. Steve Cishek said the players weren’t trying to send a message about the manager situation, but that they were just tired and frustrated:

“I can see why people are making a big deal about it — people pay money, want to be around the players,” said relief pitcher Steve Cishek, who is also the club’s player representative. “But you’ve got to realize we were here all day. Everyone is exhausted. You look at Dee Gordon, he’s stumbling around the locker room after the game, played his heart out. Everyone battled yesterday. It was just not the right timing. It’s tough to explain. It’s just the way things are going for us right now. All of our guys have taken it to heart. Everyone is an adult here. They just didn’t show up. Their decision.”

New manager Dan Jennings and most of his coaching staff were present for the event, as well as team president Mike Hill.

The Marlins have lost eight straight games and are 0-5 since Jennings moved from the front office into the dugout. After going into the spring with big expectations, the team sits at 16-27 and in last place in the National League East.

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.