Wednesday’s baseball: Marlins trade Ozuna to Cardinals

Associated Press

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – Miami has agreed to trade left fielder Marcell Ozuna to the St. Louis Cardinals, according to multiple reports, the third All-Star jettisoned by the Marlins this month in an unrelenting payroll purge under new CEO Derek Jeter.

“Ozuna is one of those names that you have to have great respect, especially as much we see him,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said at the Winter Meetings. “We’re at that necessary point of talking through health always, no matter what the player is. It’s not just a formality.”

An All-Star the past two seasons, Ozuna, 27, set career bests this season with a .312 average, 37 homers and 124 RBIs. He is eligible for salary arbitration and likely will earn more than $10 million. He can become a free agent after the 2019 season.

The Marlins reeportedly received four minor-leaguers — right-hander Sandy Alcantara, outfielder Magneuris Sierra, right-hander Zac Gallen, and left-hander Daniel Castano.

Miami traded second baseman Dee Gordon to Seattle last Thursday for three prospects and dealt right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, the reigning NL MVP, to the Yankees on Monday for second baseman Starlin Castro and two prospects.

“I was just very impressed the fact that we were involved in those conversations,” Matheny said.

Ozuna likely will be in the outfield with Dexter Fowler and Tommy Pham.

Center fielder Christian Yelich could be the next to exit the downsizing Marlins, bought by Bruce Sherman’s group on Oct. 2.

Around the horn

The Cubs agreed to a two-year contract with Brandon Morrow on Tuesday night.

Morrow, 33, went 6-0 with a 2.06 ERA and two saves in 45 appearances for Los Angeles last season. The hard-throwing right-hander did not allow a home run.

The Cubs also agreed to a $10 million, two-year contract with former Tiger Drew Smyly. The lefty is recovering from Tommy John surgery in June and might not be able to return next season.

... The Twins signed former Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda, giving a two-year, $10 million contract to the right-hander recovering from Tommy John surgery.

The move made Wednesday by the Twins during baseball’s winter meetings was more for 2019, when Pineda will earn $8 million. He’ll get $2 million for the 2018 season, which he’ll likely miss while continuing the rehab following elbow ligament replacement.

... Free-agent reliever Anthony Swarzak reportedly has reached a deal with the Mets.

Swarzak is set to get $14 million over two years.

Swarzak was a combined 6-4 with two saves and a 2.33 ERA in 70 games last season for the White Sox and Milwaukee.

... Bob Costas won the Ford C. Frick Award presented by the baseball Hall of Fame for broadcasting excellence.

The honor was announced Wednesday at the winter meetings.

Costas was among eight broadcasters on the Frick ballot who were selected for their work on a national level.

Costas will be honored on July 28 during induction weekend at Cooperstown, New York.