Update (5:09 PM ET): Here’s Harper during his first at-bat on Wednesday in the sixth inning of the resumed game.
Big news out of Washington, D.C. — MLB.com’s Jamal Collier reports that Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper has shaved his signature beard. We don’t have any photos as of yet, but Harper did recently post this photo of himself, with a mere five o’clock shadow, from six years ago which can give us a reference point.
It hasn’t been the best sports day in the nation’s capital, as Capitals head coach Barry Trotz also announced he was stepping down as head coach after having led his team to a championship.
The Yankees, which coincidentally has a well-known no-facial-hair policy, are in town to make up a suspended game from May 15 and a postponed game from May 16. The suspended game will resume in the top of the sixth inning at 5:05 PM ET. The other game should start shortly after the conclusion of the resumed game. In that game, Sonny Gray will start opposite Erick Fedde.
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.