The Braves “have some interest” in free agent outfielder Marcell Ozuna, hears Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Atlanta joins the previously-known Cardinals, Reds, White Sox, Rangers, and Marlins in the early sweepstakes for the corner outfielder. Atlanta already re-signed Nick Markakis, but he could be in line for a lesser role after a subpar age-36 season. Alternatively, Atlanta could move Ronald Acuña to center field full-time should they acquire another corner outfielder, be it Ozuna or someone else. Signing the 29-year-old Ozuna, a qualifying offer recipient, would cost the Braves their second-highest draft choice and $500K of international bonus pool space.
More from the National League…
- The Marlins hired Eddy Rodríguez as catching coach, as first reported by Craig Mish of SiriusXM (via Twitter). Rodríguez, 33, is a former University of Miami catcher who made it to the majors for two games with the 2012 Padres. He retired as a player after the 2017 season, having logged parts of 11 minor league seasons. Rodríguez spent 2019 as the Angels’ minor league catching coordinator.
- The Reds plan to bolster their pitching depth this offseason, reports Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer. While the club’s main focus figures to be offensive upgrades, GM Nick Krall stressed to Nightengale the importance of stockpiling arms. “Every year, most teams use seven or eight starters,” Krall said. “Most teams use 12 relievers that have significant time. You can’t overlook that.” To that end, Nightengale expects Cincinnati to add a starter and a reliever or two, although it isn’t clear if those additions will be via MLB free agency, trade, or a handful of minor-league free agent signings.
- Diamondbacks outfielder Steven Souza, Jr. is back to running at full speed, the 30-year-old himself tweeted. It’s a good sign, as Souza missed all of 2019 after tearing multiple ligaments in his left knee in spring training. That followed up a disappointing debut in the desert, in which Souza slashed just .220/.309/.369 in 272 plate appearances. Coming off back-to-back lost seasons and projected to make $4.125MM in arbitration, Souza could be a non-tender candidate this offseason. As MLBTR’s Jeff Todd recently explored, the Diamondbacks have quite a few difficult decisions to make in the coming weeks to sort out their outfield mix.