Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval and catcher Blake Swihart both hit the showers early due to injuries during Saturday’s contest against the Royals. Swihart reached on an infield single to lead off the fifth inning. He stayed in to run the bases but was visibly limping. He was finally taken out when the Red Sox took the field in the bottom of the sixth. Sandoval suffered a sprained left ankle while making an errant throw to first base in the fifth inning on a Lorenzo Cain ground ball.
To literally add insult to injury, Rick Porcello’s struggles continued as he allowed six runs in five innings of work, bringing his ERA to 5.61. Things aren’t going very well in Beantown right now.
If Sandoval needs to miss any time, he’ll at least be able to browse Instagram.
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.