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Wanna hear a great Matt Harvey story?

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Jon Heyman has a story up about what’s facing Matt Harvey as he begins the next chapter of his career with his new team, the Cincinnati Reds. We’ve talked about Harvey a lot so the basics are all pretty familiar, but there’s a great anecdote in there:

There’s a “funny” story about Harvey: With him struggling on the mound but a day off coming, he once asked Terry Collins to stay behind for a night in Miami, and when he rejoined the team the next day he bragged in the clubhouse nonstop about his exploits the night before with some beautiful woman. Well, one veteran Met, tiring of his lack of focus and his emphasis on extracurriculars, shot across the clubhouse, saying something to the effect of: “That’s great Matt, but has she seen you pitch?”

That could’ve happened at any time over the past couple of years, but I’m gonna tell myself it happened in April of 2017, when the Mets played the Marlins in Miami. Harvey pitched on the 16th and they had the 17th off before a series at home against the Phillies, making it an easy flight home the next day for Harvey. For what it’s worth, I desperately want that mystery Met veteran to be Jerry Blevins, but I don’t even know why. Just sounds like a good guy to say that Harvey.

Please, no other reporters should talk to the Mets about this. I don’t want anyone suggesting that it’s not true.

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.