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MLB Rumors: Braves reportedly agree to one-year contract with OF Marcell Ozuna

MLB Rumors: Braves reportedly agree to one-year contract with OF Marcell Ozuna

The Braves had a massive hole in the middle of their lineup after Josh Donaldson signed a four-year, $92 million contract with the Twins last week. 

In response, the Nationals' biggest rival in the NL East has reportedly agreed to a one-year, $18 million deal with outfielder Marcell Ozuna. 

The Braves and Nationals both have to focus on replacing significant production at third base with Donaldson and Anthony Rendon moving on with lucrative contracts. The Nationals acquired Starlin Castro, brought back Howie Kendrick and Asdrubal Cabrera and are hoping for a big step forward from Victor Robles. 

With Ozuna, the Braves may have a better chance at replacing Donaldson in the lineup than the Nationals have with replacing Rendon. 

In two seasons with the Cardinals, Ozuna posted a .262/.327/.451 slash line with 52 home runs and 177 RBI. 

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MLB union chief points to Braves GM's comment as collusion evidence

MLB union chief points to Braves GM's comment as collusion evidence

NEW YORK -- Two days into the free agent market, the players' association already is angry at a club.

Union head Tony Clark issued a statement Wednesday in response to remarks attributed to Atlanta Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos during a conference call with media.

"Every day you get more information. And we've had time to connect with 27 of the clubs -- obviously the Astros and (Nationals) being in the World Series, they were tied up -- but we had a chance to get a sense of what the other clubs are going to look to do in free agency, who might be available in trades," Anthopoulos said, according to the union.

Baseball's labor contract prohibits clubs from acting in concert in free agent negotiations. The union filed a collusion grievance following the 2017-18 offseason.

"The statements made by Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos call into the question the integrity of the entire free-agent system," Clark said in a statement Wednesday. "The clear description of club coordination is egregious, and we have launched an immediate investigation looking into the matter."

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Patrick Corbin and Yan Gomes' success was written in the stars

Patrick Corbin and Yan Gomes' success was written in the stars

July 19 marks a special day for the Nationals.

No, not just the fact that they play the second game of the series against the first-place Braves.

It is starting pitcher Patrick Corbin and starting catcher Yan Gomes' birthday.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this is just the second time in MLB history that a battery duo who share a birthday will work together that day. 

The pair has worked together exclusively since Gomes was traded to Washington and Corbin was picked up during free agency this off-season. 

What is it about these two that allows them to work so well together? 

If you believe in horoscopes, you could say it was written in the stars. If you don't believe in all that, there are legitimate baseball reasons, too.  

Corbin and Gomes laughed when asked about their horoscopes. Both of them confirming they know they are Cancer star signs, but neither of them believes in it.

"We joke around that there are a couple of things in common we have," Gomes said of the two sharing a birthday. "We both have German Shepards. It gets kind of weird. I think it is just a relationship that keeps building." 

It seems like a silly question to ask someone who has pitched back-to-back 10+ strikeout games and his catcher who has been there for every game. But they played along. 

To astrologists, people who share a birthday are very similar and work well together. They understand each other both on an emotional and service level. It is safe to say that two Cancers work great together. 

Their calm, cool and collected nature make them very in touch with their surroundings. Seems like a perfect way to describe their nature on and off the field.

The duo agreed they understand each other on a level that goes beyond the few months they have worked together. 

Gomes described working with Corbin and being able to have tough conversations early on. "At that point is when those little conversations can happen during games and then adjustments can be made. I think that has happened a couple of times already." 

Corbin said that both him and Gomes are just trying to get better each game. "We both can just tell each other. We have the confidence… it's good to have that. Gomes is out there, ‘Hey you have to do this, do that.’ They just want to do their best and we want to do our best." 

Whatever it is allowing these two to work so well together is something Nationals fans should not take for granted.

Corbin heads into Friday's game against the Atlanta Braves with a 7-5 record. After Thursday nights performance by pitcher Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals are now just 4.5 games back from first place. 

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