When we last checked in this morning, Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas and Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez were in the lead for the Final Vote for the 2015 All-Star Game. Both have held on and won the spots for their respective leagues, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY reports.
Boy, do people in the midwest show up to vote.
Moustakas, 26, is on the All-Star team for the first time in his five-year career. He enters play Friday batting .301/.357/.436 with seven home runs and 31 RBI in 321 plate appearances. He joins teammates Wade Davis, Kelvin Herrera, Salvador Perez, Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, and the injured Alex Gordon on the American League All-Star roster.
Martinez, 23, is also a first-time All-Star. He’s 10-3 with a 2.52 ERA and a 113/43 K/BB ratio in 107 1/3 innings over 17 starts and one relief appearance. He joins teammates Trevor Rosenthal, Michael Wacha, Yadier Molina, Jhonny Peralta, and Matt Holliday on the National League All-Star roster.
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.