The Padres’ Austin Hedges hit a fun home run in last night’s game against the Mariners.
He was facing M’s reliever Cory Gearrin with two outs in the sixth and drove one to deep right center. Padres outfielder Mallex Smith ranged back, leapt — though he didn’t have to — the ball doinked off his glove, and went over the fence for an alley-oop homer.
The best part was Hedges chuckling and, I think anyway, kinda tipping his cap to Smith. For his part, Smith sat on the ground and looked rather disgusted about it all. Which, you can’t really blame him:
It was the second time in three days such a homer was hit. On Sunday Dexter Fowler did the same courtesy to Noah Syndergaard.
Now, can someone tell me why these aren’t four-base errors? There’s probably a reason but, really, there’s no way these were dingers without the unintended help of the outfielder.
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.