Dan Duquette, the Orioles’ executive vice president of baseball operations, told season ticket-holders on Saturday that the team wants to “sign some of our key players for the future” and added that 1B/OF Chris Davis is “one of them”, as Rich Dubroff of CSN Baltimore reports.
Davis, 29, can become a free agent after the season. He entered action Saturday night batting .257/.341/.541. He homered twice against the Athletics on Saturday, including a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning. Though he leads the majors with 144 strikeouts, he also leads with 88 RBI and has knocked 34 balls out of the park as well. The veteran has more than bounced back from last year’s subpar showing.
Davis is one of many Orioles who could leave via free agency after the season. The others include Matt Wieters, Wei-Yin Chen, Gerardo Parra, Darren O’Day, Steve Pearce, and Nolan Reimold.
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.