While Shohei Ohtani and the Marlins' sell-off have dominated the headlines, some under-the-radar moves have helped teams drastically change their postseason odds.
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Buster Olney and Keith Law put a bow on the Winter Meetings, discuss the moves that could still be made and more (6:08). Plus, "Inside Heat" on the Orioles from Roch Kubatko (32:05) and Nationals from Chelsea Janes (43:42).
After an era of relative parity in Major League Baseball, the list of clubs with a ticket to Scott Boras' proverbial "Playoffville" is shrinking.
The Marlins' salary dump continued, and critics took turns bashing them. A group of relievers cashed in. And, well, the rest of this week was more of a fact-finding mission than a splash of activity. Big moves are coming, it's just a matter of when.
Tristan H. Cockcroft ESPN Senior Writer
Not a whole lot changes in terms of fantasy value for Marcell Ozuna in St. Louis, though despite their somewhat crowded outfield, he'll still play regularly. St. Louis' Busch Stadium was one of the few ballparks in which he could land that provides effectively no power upgrade: It was 26th in terms of right-handed home run factor in 2017 (0.803) and 25th from 2013-17 (0.845); Miami's Marlins Park was 24th (0.835) and 26th (0.818) in those same time spans.
By refusing to back down three years ago and again last week, the Marlins slugger set the stage for the Bronx Bombers to make a stunning deal.
RHP Sandy Alcantara was a key part of Miami's haul, but the upside of the prospects received might be hard-pressed to add up to Marcell Ozuna's worth.
After missing out on Giancarlo Stanton, St. Louis upgraded its lineup by landing Miami's other slugging outfield star.
The Miami Marlins released pitcher Edinson Volquez, freeing up a spot on their 40-man roster, but they could still re-sign him to a minor league deal.
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.
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.
The Miami Marlins have continued their offseason purge, trading All-Star left fielder Marcell Ozuna to the Cardinals. Ozuna is due to enter arbitration after a career-best season.
With one of his two Miami Marlins clients traded Wednesday, agent Scott Boras says of the team: "We've seen one of our major league jewelry stores become a pawn shop.''
Charles Moynihan ESPN Producer
Swarmed by reporters, uber-agent Scott Boras shared his opinion of the tear-down the Miami Marlins are currently undergoing: "They were a jewelry store that has become a pawn shop."
Eddie Matz ESPN Senior Writer
In his annual winter meetings presser, Scott Boras called the Miami Marlins a "pawn shop."
Andrew Marchand ESPN Senior Writer
Marlins manager Don Mattingly said he was "excited" about his team's new direction after trading away the NL's MVP, Giancarlo Stanton. The old way was not working so it was time to "reset," mentioning what the current World Champs, the Houston Astros, did a few years ago when they tanked. In general, the manager who endures the tanking doesn't get to enjoy the fruits, but Mattingly said he is unworried about how he will be evaluated.
Before talking to Angels GM Billy Eppler about the Ohtani signing and much more (25:05). Buster Olney talks to Jerry Crasnick about the latest from the winter meetings (10:10). Plus, "Inside Heat" on the Dodgers from Andy McCullough (39:09), on the Astros from Jake Kaplan (49:44) and a chat with Giancarlo Stanton (46:51).
Michael Smith & Jemele Hill react to the loss of Carson Wentz and its impact on the rest of the NFL. Plus, Mark Teixeira breaks down the new-look New York Yankees.
Giancarlo Stanton said the Marlins tried to strong-arm him into a trade to the Giants or Cardinals, but he refused to be forced to do something that wasn't right for him. "This is what I've dreamed of," Stanton said of joining the Yankees.