Cardinals add more bullpen help, get Jonathan Broxton from Brewers

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Not satisfied with Marlins right-hander Steve Cishek as their only bullpen reinforcement, the Cardinals have acquired right-hander Jonathan Broxton from the Brewers in exchange for minor leaguer Mailk Collymore.

Milwaukee got Broxton from Cincinnati as a late-August trade pickup last year and he ended up throwing 47 innings with a 5.55 ERA for the Brewers, but his 49/12 K/BB ratio is a lot more impressive and his average fastball still clocks in at 95 miles per hour. St. Louis will use Broxton in a setup role in front of closer Trevor Rosenthal.

Cishek is under team control via arbitration for 2016 if the Cardinals feel like keeping him at a relative high salary and Broxton’s contract includes a $9 million option or $2 million buyout for 2016, so it’s possible (but unlikely?) neither will be merely two-month rentals.

Collymore is a 20-year-old outfielder playing his third season of rookie-ball while hitting .216, so he’s more “minor leaguer” than “prospect.”

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.