Thursday, December 14, 2017

Cardinals complete three deals on final day of winter meetings

(From the St. Louis Cardinals)

The Cardinals completed a busy Winter Meetings today by finalizing three separate player transactions, including a blockbuster deal to acquire All-Star OF Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins.

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have completed a five-player trade with the Miami Marlins, acquiring All-Star outfielder Marcell Ozuna in exchange for RHP Sandy Alcantara, OF Magneuris Sierra, RHP Zac Gallen and LHP Daniel Castano.

Ozuna, 27, who set career single-season highs for batting average (.312), home runs (37) and RBI (124) last season, earned National League Silver Slugger and Rawlings Gold Glove award selection and was named to his 2nd-straight National League All-Star team.

Joining Matt Kemp (2011) and Matt Holliday (2007) as just the third N.L. outfielder since 2003 to compile a .310-plus batting average, 30-plus home runs and 120-plus RBI in the same season, Ozuna finished the 2017 campaign ranked 3rd in the N.L. in both homers and RBI and he stood 7th among the league’s batting leaders.

The 6-1, 225-pound native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, finished 15th in N.L. MVP voting last season and led all senior league clean-up hitters (min. 400 at-bats) with his .548 slugging pct. and .924 on-base + slugging mark. Ozuna has a career batting mark of .297 (183-for-617) with 20 HR and 256 RBI with runners in scoring position.

Piscotty traded

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have traded outfielder Stephen Piscotty to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for minor league shortstop Yairo Muñoz and second baseman Max Schrock.

Muñoz, 22, was signed by the Athletics as a non-drafted free agent out of Nagua, Dominican Republic in January of 2012. The 6-foot-1, 165 lb., right-handed hitting infielder played shortstop, third base and center field between Midland (AA) and Nashville (AAA) during the 2017 season. He batted .300 with 13 home runs, 68 RBI and stole 22 bases in 112 games and is currently playing in the Dominican Winter League for the Toros del Este.

Schrock, 23, was originally a 13th round draft pick by the Washington Nationals in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of South Carolina. Schrock was traded to the Athletics in 2016 in exchange for former Cardinals pitcher Marc Rzepczynski. He has batted .324 over his career with a .372 on-base percentage, 18 home runs and 131 RBI over 281 minor league games.

Piscotty, 26, was the Cardinals supplemental first round (33rd overall) draft pick out of Stanford University in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. Piscotty batted .268 with 38 home runs and 163 RBI over 323 career Major League games. He signed a six-year contract extension with the Cardinals on April 3, 2017.

Cardinals sign Gregerson

The St. Louis Cardinals also announced today that they have signed free-agent right-handed reliever Luke Gregerson to a two-year (2018-2019) contract that includes a team option for the 2020 season that could vest based on incentives.

The nine-year veteran, who has pitched in the Major Leagues with the Padres, A’s and Astros, has limited opposing right-handers to a .200 average that ranks as fifth-lowest among qualified Major League relievers since his 2009 debut.

Originally selected by St. Louis in the 28th round of the June 2006 First-Year Player Draft, Gregorson was included as the player-to-be-named later to complete the 2008 offseason trade with San Diego that also included pitcher Mark Worrell for shortstop Khalil Green.

The Park Ridge, IL native was also a member of Team USA in the 2013 and 2017 World Baseball Classics, winning the WBC title this past spring.

The addition of Gregerson brings the Cardinals’ 40-man Major League roster to capacity.

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