Hector Gomez reported Friday evening that the Braves are nearing a multi-year deal with Marcell Ozuna, which was later confirmed by numerous other insiders.
After a long offseason of little news after the signings of Drew Smyly and Charlie Morton early on, the Braves are bringing back the slugger who was so productive for them in 2020. Joel Sherman of the New York Post and MLB Network adds to the report saying that Ozuna is receiving 4 guaranteed years with money in the mid-$60 million range. There is also apparently a team option for a fifth year that would bring the contract up to around $80 million. These numbers are a fairly low average annual value for Ozuna, but the years bring the total up to a sum that Ozuna must be fairly pleased with, even if it isn’t quite what he wanted.
Ozuna is getting a 4-yr deal with an option from the #Braves. Hear the total will be in the mid-$60Ms.— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) February 6, 2021
Ozuna was nothing short of incredible in 2020 at the plate, posting an absurd 179 wRC+, with the Statcast numbers to back up the production. Ozuna seemed to be beloved by the Braves players and was certainly a fun player to watch, so it seems like everyone in Braves country will be happy to see him back in Atlanta.
Ozuna did hit a lot from the designated hitter spot in 2020, so if the DH is not back in the National League for 2021, he will have to play left field, which is not ideal, but the Braves clearly deemed it worthwhile to get his impact bat back in the lineup. This is especially true when the general assumption around the league is that the DH will become universal in the new CBA beginning in the 2022 season, even if it doesn’t happen for 2021.
The Braves official twitter account tweeted an iconic video clip of Ozuna hitting a home run in the playoffs and taking a fake selfie as a celebration on the base path as I wrote this article, confirming the news.