The Giants have strengthened their starting rotation this evening, as CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the defending World Series champions have agreed to a deal to acquire right-hander Mike Leake from the Reds.
Alex Pavlovic of CSNBayArea.com confirms that the Reds will get two minor leaguers in return, including prospect right-hander Keury Mella. FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi adds that infielder-outfielder Adam Duvall is the other piece in the deal.
Leake, an impending free agent, has a 3.56 ERA and 90/34 K/BB ratio in 136 2/3 innings over 21 starts this season. The 27-year-old has been especially effective of late, allowing just two runs in 30 innings across his last four outings. He owns a 3.43 ERA on the road during his career compared to a 4.31 ERA at home, so switching from Great American Ball Park to the pitcher-friendly AT&T Park should be good for him. And since he has now been traded during the season, he won’t have to worry about a qualifying offer in free agency this winter.
The only real question here is how the Giants intend to play things, as they now have more starters than rotation spots. Tim Hudson, who has a 4.80 ERA in 17 starts this season, is a possibility to be bumped.
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.