The Braves made their biggest splash of the winter on Friday evening when they inked outfielder Marcell Ozuna to a 4-year deal worth $65 million with an option for a 5th season at the end.
On Saturday, Alex Anthopoulos and Ozuna met with the media to discuss the signing.
Alex Anthopoulos on bringing Ozuna back: “We wanted him back. He was definitely a priority. Having spoken to him, I knew that Atlanta was his first choice and he was our first choice. We’re glad we were able to get it done.”
It wasn’t much of a debate, but assuming there isn’t a DH added at the last minute for 2021, Anthopoulos confirmed Ozuna will be the club’s primary left fielder.
Ozuna on returning to the Braves:
“My mind was always with Atlanta. My door was open to them. I was on the market to find a new place, but at that same time I just kept waiting for their decision.”
Ozuna also laughed when mentioning Freddie Freeman texted him “vamanos!” upon learning the deal had been finalized. Anthopoulos also joked he would be placing Ozuna in charge of negotiating the upcoming Freddie Freeman contract extension.
By all accounts, Ozuna fit in tremendously in the clubhouse and will become a core piece through, at minimum, 2024.
As spring training nears, the Braves have a few boxes left to check off, including potential bullpen or bench depth.
Update - Here is the video of today’s Zoom press conference featuring Marcell Ozuna and Alex Anthopoulos.