The Dodgers are discussing Alex Guerrero in trades

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The Dodgers need starting pitching. Last night a report came out that they’re willing to deal Yasiel Puig in the right deal. Later Ken Rosenthal reported that they’re discussing Alex Guerrero in possible trades.

The loss of both players could solve some problems for the Dodgers, separate and apart from whatever problems the players they’d get in return might solve. In dealing Puig, L.A. could (a) get nice talent given his value; and (b) rid themselves of a guy who aggravates certain segments of their clubhouse. Guerrero is a different kind of square peg in that he really doesn’t have a solid defensive position and his contract is such that he can refuse minor league assignments and the like.

Of course, like Puig, Guerrero has considerable upside too. Though he has cooled off considerably, his bat has pop and the tear he went on earlier this year may make some suitor think, if they squint just right, a player could be made out of this project. And while his defense is dreadful, he can, in theory, play any number of positions making someone possibly see him as a corner guy or a super sub. There’s at least something to work with there.

Either way, one of the hallmarks of the new Dodgers regime was cutting bait on guys who were playing out of position like Hanley Ramirez and Matt Kemp and trying to get a more conventional baseball team on the field for lack of a better term. Getting rid of the defensively challenged Guerrero and putting an end to the Puig drama, such as it is, would be in line with that. If it solved a glaring weakness — the rotation after Greinke and Kershaw — it could be worthwhile.

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.