Matt Cain to make 2015 debut on Thursday

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Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News reports that right-hander Matt Cain is scheduled to make his 2015 regular-season debut Thursday afternoon in the Giants’ series finale against the Marlins.

Cain underwent elbow surgery last August and ankle surgery last September. The 30-year-old right-hander entered spring training this February with a clean bill of health, but a right flexor tendon strain put him on the disabled list just before Opening Day and he’s just now getting back from that.

Cain registered a 4.19 ERA and 1.19 WHIP on his four-game minor league rehab assignment.

Tim Lincecum will be placed on the disabled list with a forearm bruise to open a rotation spot.

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.