On the one hand, this is mostly academic. Ozuna is headed to Atlanta and the prior offers are off the table. On the other, there are actually some interesting forward-looking elements to this report.
First and foremost, it’s notable that Ozuna drew not only three-year but four-year offers, per Heyman. The offered money evidently wasn’t enough to sway the veteran from the $18MM he got for one year with the Braves, but it’s still an indication that the market has some appetite for a longer pact on this sort of player.
That’s probably good news for Nicholas Castellanos and Yasiel Puig. We just ran a poll regarding the former, with nearly four in ten respondents predicting an Ozuna-esque signing and most of the remainder guessing he’d secure much less than had been anticipated in a multi-year pact. Expectations on Castellanos were always tough to set and have continued to waver. But it’s at least somewhat easier to fathom a bigger, lengthier contract given this recent report.
It’s also a generally promising sign for Ozuna himself, who is now slated to return to free agency at the end of the upcoming season. He only just reached his 29th birthday and can certainly anticipate long-term interest the next time around — if he makes good on the prove-it contract he just inked.
Most interesting of all, perhaps, is the involvement of the Reds in the bidding. Long rumored to be kicking around the market for these bat-first corner outfielders, the club’s recent signing of Shogo Akiyama further stuffed its outfield mix and made a further addition seem unlikely. But Heyman says that the Cincinnati outfit “made a spirited try” to land Ozuna with a multi-year deal.
If indeed the Reds had serious interest in Ozuna, it adds to the plausibility of Heyman’s prior reporting on the team’s pursuit of Castellanos. There are abundant options on hand, but perhaps the club simply isn’t satisfied — or has its eyes on adding another piece to help facilitate a trade involving one or more of its existing outfielders. The theoretical possibilities are endless, adding to the intrigue of the remaining corner outfield market.