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Jerry Crasnick ESPN Senior Writer 

Angels manager Mike Scioscia pronounced himself optimistic about Shohei Ohtani's health after a Yahoo Sports report revealed that the team's new addition has a first-degree sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. "The understanding we have is that it's something that's behind him," Scioscia said. "There's no concern. There are no restrictions. He'll be full go in spring training." Scioscia reiterated that the Angels are thinking about using Ohtani as part of a six-man rotation in 2018.

Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

Red Sox spoke to the Marlins about Marcell Ozuna, but Dave Dombrowski said it always seemed like a "long shot" that they would be able to trade for him because they lack the upper-level pitching in the minors that the Cardinals were able to offer. If the Sox had gotten Ozuna, they would've rotated him and others through the DH spot rather than subtracting an outfielder.

Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Watch Cards manager Mike Matheny discuss the NL Central where no team is at the bottom of a rebuilding process.


Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Watch Mike Matheny discuss the need for a bat like Marcell Ozuna.


Jerry Crasnick ESPN Senior Writer 

Giancarlo Stanton and Dee Gordon are gone and Marcell Ozuna is heading out the door, but the Marlins plan to hang onto Christian Yelich. He's owed $7 million this year and a guaranteed $44.5 million through 2021, and the Marlins shouldn't have any trouble handling that financial obligation now that three other big salaries are off the books. Yelich might not be thrilled playing in a lineup decimated by trades. But it's not as if he has any recourse.

Charles Moynihan ESPN Producer 

Indians Manager Terry Francona on what advice he would give newly minted Red Sox Manager Alex Cora: "I don't think guys need advice. There's a reason someone hired them. They felt like he was ready. Part of the fun of this game is you do things how you want to do it."

Andrew Marchand ESPN Senior Writer 

Yankees GM Brian Cashman is in his "Bubba Crosby Mode," where he is acting as if the Yankees will possibly not add another infielder to fill at least one of the two openings at second and third. Cashman could go with top prospect Gleyber Torres or utilityman Ronald Torryes at one of the spots, but it is much more likely that Cashman adds some sort of infielder to the mix. There are some out there, including former Yankee Eduardo Nunez. In 2005, Cashman acted as if Crosby would be the team's center fielder before eventually landing Johnny Damon.

Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

Carlos Santana has become a better teammate over the past few years, according to Terry Francona, who saw him morph from "kind of surly" to a leader in the Indians' clubhouse and a better defensive player at first base. Santana is a free agent.

Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

Terry Francona on his many ex-players who have become managers (Dave Roberts, Kevin Cash, Alex Cora, Gabe Kapler): "You could see by the way they went about the game that, if they wanted to stay in the game, they could."

Eddie Matz ESPN Senior Writer 

Scott Boras said that he met with Nationals ownership a month ago to have preliminary discussions about a potential contract extension for Bryce Harper. If Harper, who's in the final year of his contract, opts to hit the open market next winter, he would seemingly have one less major suitor now that the Yankees have acquired fellow outfielder Giancarlo Stanton.

Monique Jones ESPN 

From Buster Olney: The Diamondbacks are willing to listen to offers for Zack Greinke, rival evaluators say, because while Greinke continues to be one of the best pitchers in the NL, his salary is strangling Arizona's payroll. Before the 2016 season, he signed a six-year, $206 million deal with Arizona, and is set to make $138 million in salary over the next four seasons -- an enormous portion of the Diamondbacks' budget. But sources say the Diamondbacks have no interest in simply dumping the salary in a Giancarlo Stanton-type of deal. Rather, they would need to believe they got something good in return for a pitcher who finished fourth in the Cy Young Award voting in 2017.

Jerry Crasnick ESPN Senior Writer 

Days after being rebuffed on a Giancarlo Stanton trade, the St. Louis Cardinals have filled their middle-of-the-order void by acquiring outfielder Marcell Ozuna in a deal with Miami. Ozuna is a lot more than a consolation prize for St. Louis. He's a two-time All-Star who hit 37 homers and slugged .548 for the Marlins this season. He's eligible for free agency after the 2019 season, but he'll give the Cardinals two years of premium production — in a high-energy package — before he hits the open market.

David Schoenfield ESPN Senior Writer 

The Cardinals have been searching for a middle of the order bat and they've reportedly acquired one from the Marlins in All-Star outfielder Marcell Ozuna, coming off a season in which he hit .312 with 37 home runs. In Ozuna, 2017 breakout star Tommy Pham and Dexter Fowler, the Cardinals now project to have one of the best outfields in the league. After finishing seventh in the NL in runs in 2017, that total should climb if Ozuna matches his 2017 numbers.

Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo on J.D. Martinez: "I don't think I've seen a more passionate, smarter hitter walk through his day-to-day activities. He studies, he watches as much video as I've ever seen." Arizona is hoping to re-sign Martinez but faces stiff competition. Red Sox interested, too.