The Cardinals didn’t get Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins, but they have landed another Miami outfielder, Marcell Ozuna, a 27-year old All-Star with a Gold Glove.
Now the question is: Does this mean the Cardinals would be pulling out of the market for Orioles third baseman Manny Machado? Apparently they would still like to swing a deal for the Baltimore slugger, who also has a Gold Glove and Platinum Glove on his resume.
According to media reports, the Cardinals gave up their fifth-best pitching prospect, Sandy Alcantara, to get Ozuna. There are other top-notch pitching prospects in the Cardinals system, including Jack Flaherty, 23, who has a mid-90s fastball and a better-than-average changeup, and Dakota Hudson, 22, who throws his fastball in the high 90s with curve and cutter.
Ozuna hit .312/.376/.548 with 37 home runs and 124 RBIs for the Marlins in 2017. The home runs and RBIs would have been highs for the Cardinals.
He’ll join an outfield that has Dexter Fowler and Tommy Pham. Ozuna will play left field, Pham will move to center and Fowler to right. Outfielders Stephen Piscotty and Randal Grichuk could be traded.
The Cardinals finished seventh in runs scored last season and eighth (196) in home runs in the National League.
Jedd Gyrko is the Cardinals’ third baseman.
* Angels manager Mike Scioscia says the team is considering a six-man rotation to help pitching-hitting star Shohei Ohtani adjust to the majors. Scioscia says that some pitchers pitch well on four days of rest, but others might need five. He knows a six-man rotation would relieve the workload for pitchers. “But there are a lot of things to sift through,” he said. He said he’s not sure if Ohtani will bat on the days he pitches, something he did a dozen times last year in Japan. ... The Angels aren’t concerned about Ohtani’s sprained elbow. They said the injury to the pitcher was in the Major League Baseball report that all 30 teams received.
* The San Diego Padres are interested in free agent first baseman Eric Hosmer, a good chemistry guy and clubhouse leader, for the youngest team in baseball. Hosmer would play first base and move Wil Myers to outfield, and although Myers has said he prefers first base, Padres manager Andy Green says he thinks Myers will accept the challenge: “He wants to win,” Green says. “And that’s been refreshing dialogue throughout the offseason.” If Hosmer signs with San Diego, a team that’s still rebuilding, it would be comparable to when the Nationals signed Jayson Werth at a time when the team wasn’t a contender.
* According to conversations at the Winter Meetings, the likely landing spot for pitcher Yu Darvish is Seattle, joining a rotation that has James Paxton, Felix Hernandez and Mike Leake. ... Also, the Mariners are confident that All-Star Dee Gordon, a two-time Gold Glove winner at second base, can make the transition to center field. Gordon lives in Orlando. The Mariners’ outfield coach is already working with him on fundamentals. Gordon is a neighbor of Ken Griffey Jr., and tells reporters that he’ll pick up some tips from one of the best center fielders in the history of the game.
* If the Red Sox sign outfielder J.D. Martinez, they would use him in one of two ways: either as the DH or left fielder, moving Andrew Benintendi to center with a possible trade of current center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr.