For a second straight season, the Braves struck gold on a one-year deal for a middle-of-the-order threat. Atlanta’s 2019 deal with Josh Donaldson proved to be a masterstroke, and although the front office was panned for letting the “Bringer of Rain” walk, GM Alex Anthopoulos’ one-year deal for slugger Marcell Ozuna proved similarly fruitful. The former Marlins and Cardinals slugger delivered a superlative .338/.431/.636 slash and 18 home runs in 267 plate appearances, tacking on three postseason big flies.
The Braves now face a similar dilemma with Ozuna, who’ll draw interest on multi-year deals as one of the best bats in free agency. Unlike Donaldson, Ozuna is ineligible for a qualifying offer, having rejected one last winter. That not only bolsters his free-agent stock but also puts the Braves at risk of receiving no compensation if he departs. In speaking with reporters following the Braves’ NLCS exit, Anthopoulos made clear that re-signing Ozuna is a priority but also spoke with some caution (links via Gabe Burns of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Mark Bowman of MLB.com).
“Marcell was amazing for us,” said Anthopoulos. “He was awesome. We’d love to have him back. I certainly plan on having discussions. … We’re going to have to work hard to get as many answers as we can from a revenue standpoint, a DH standpoint, all of those things.”
Anthopoulos sidestepped questions about team budget, noting that he had yet to discuss payroll with ownership and adding, understandably for competitive purposes, that he wouldn’t divulge the result of those talks even if they’d taken place. The GM pointed to uncertainties about 2021 revenue and whether they’ll play a full slate of games with fans in attendance next year as additional factors in determining club payroll, re-signing free agents and exploring other offseason moves.
As for Ozuna himself, the soon-to-be 30-year-old slugger took to social media to offer kind words and gratitude toward the Braves organization, his teammates and the Atlanta fanbase.
“I made the right decision to come play for the Braves,” Ozuna wrote on Instagram. “My time in Atlanta this year brought me so much joy and I will remember this season ALWAYS. None of us know what the future holds, but I know the future is BIG and BRIGHT. Thank you all.”
Specifics of Ozuna’s goals in free agency can’t be known, but his decision to bet on himself last winter could scarcely have gone better. Ozuna reportedly turned down a three-year offer to sign with the Reds, instead opting for a larger one-year salary and the opportunity to return to free agency this winter.
The Braves provided that opportunity, likely due to the upside Ozuna showed in a huge 2017 campaign with the Marlins and his top-of-the-scale ratings in various Statcast measures of interest. In 2019, Ozuna ranked in the 85th percentile or better in terms of barrel rate (85th), average exit velocity (91st), hard-hit rate (96th), expected batting average (89th), expected slugging percentage (90th) and expecte weighted on-base average (91st).
Impressive as that batted-ball profile was, Ozuna’s actual results on the field were relatively pedestrian (.241/.328/.478). That output, combined with defensive questions and the draft-pick compensation attached to his name after rejecting a qualifying offer, tempered interest in Ozuna. That almost certainly won’t be the case this winter, as Ozuna not only delivered elite results at the plate but somehow managed to improve in each of those batted-ball metrics, suggesting that his Herculean season is sustainable.
As Anthopoulos alluded to, teams are still uncertain whether there will be a permanent designated hitter in the National League. That’s critical with regard to Ozuna, who is limited to left field and experienced considerable throwing issues during his time with the Cardinals due to prior shoulder troubles. The Braves utilized Ozuna as their primary DH in 2020 and would surely prefer to do so moving forward.
There’s a widely held belief throughout the industry that even if the NL DH is stricken from the rulebook in 2021, it will be implemented as part of the 2021 collective bargaining talks. As such, the Braves or any other NL club might be willing to bet on using Ozuna in left field for a year and then moving him to DH in 2022 and beyond, but some certainty on that front would surely help his market.
Focusing on the Braves specifically, it’s hard to know whether they’ll buck recent trends under the Anthopoulos regime and take this type of financial plunge. Anthopoulos has eschewed long-term deals for the most part, going beyond two years in just one instance: last year’s three-year, $40MM deal for lefty Will Smith. Outside of that, he’s taken a conservative approach in free agency — even as it comes to big-name targets.
There was ample pressure from fans to bring Craig Kimbrel back on a multi-year deal when his market stalled out, but the Braves opted against it. The same was true of Dallas Keuchel, but the Braves held out until Keuchel could be had on a midseason, one-year deal. Donaldson, Ozuna and Cole Hamels represent other big-name, high-priced one-year deals. Since Anthopoulos took the reins, the Braves haven’t done beyond Smith’s $13.33MM annual salary on a multi-year deal for any free agent.
Signing Ozuna this winter would necessitate a departure from that stance. While no one can be certain how this year’s market will shake out thanks to those revenue losses, the expectation is that the top stars will still be paid. Ozuna should seemingly command at least a four-year deal — possibly a five-year pact — at a base rate in line with or more likely exceeding his current $18MM salary.
There’s certainly space on the payroll to make that plunge, thanks in no small part to overwhelmingly team-friendly deals for Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna Jr. That said, this decision will not only come against the backdrop of revenue losses but also the need to hammer out an extension for franchise icon Freddie Freeman, whose eight-year deal expires at the conclusion of the 2021 season. Add in what should be a competitive market for Ozuna’s services, and a reunion is far from a sure thing. The outcome can’t be known at this point, but Ozuna’s situation already has plenty of parallels with last year’s Donaldson saga.
I understand it is y’alls job at MLBTR to do write-ups on reports like these, but I just find it funny seeing articles like “X wants to re-sign a really good player”. I bet they’d like to sign Trevor Bauer too, but they just didn’t say that aloud lol.
And I guess in an alternate universe, the MLBTR there posts articles that are the exact opposite, like “Brodie Van Wagenen Found Crying in Locker-room Saying That he Would Take Back the Cano/Kelenic Trade if he Could”, or “Jon Daniels says he Wants Rougned Odor off the Team, but his Contract is (quote) “too big””.
Braves are too cheap to sign anyone good. I know, I’m a Braves fan.
The fact that they signed Ozuna last year kinda negates your statement. And even though Hamels didn’t pan out they still signed him and re-signed several bullpen guys and a great catcher. What else do you want? They aren’t the Yankees with an unlimited budget.
Harry Swartz JR
They were 1 year deals and braves proved last year with Josh there not willing to go more they 1 year type deal on big name hitter but will see i hope they open there wallets up and resign Ozuna but i doubt they go more then year on him and 1 year wont sign him this time they have to go to 3 or 4 yeard deal this go around to keep him and i doubt we due.
I think the Braves offered Josh a multi-year deal, but he got stupid money from the Twins. They’ll offer Ozuna a multi-year deal too, but they might be outbid by some of the deeper-pocketed teams.
Yep it is
Great catcher?? Bahahaha
You don’t think Travis is a great catcher? What planet do you live on? 138 OPS+
Rking – “the fact that they signed Ozuna last year”…..it was a one year contract. Everyone except for maybe the Pirates would sign a really good player to one year. If the Braves wanted to really compete in a sustainable way they would have signed Ozuna to a multi year deal of at least two or three years (maybe they tried and Ozuna would only sign a one year deal. In that case 8man is incorrect in calling the Braves cheap if they tried for multi years and were rebuffed).
Josh Donaldson was offered a 3 year deal but he wanted 4.
Not correct. They made a significant, multi-year offer to Donaldson, and the Twins offered more. Frankly, it worked out for the best!
Same going to happen to Freeman.
Seems like you need to adjust your definition of “good”. Good players don’t have to be overpaid. They do well in maximizing their payroll, knowing they don’t have the budget LAD has to be able to pay people to go away.
I’d rather them win the postseason than win the offseason.
How’d that whole Bumgarner thing work out
It’s definitely the same moron behind this account
No you’re not.
You’re not a “Braves fan”.
Of course the quote is obvious — but it’s still a GM commenting on the status of a pending free agent. It’s also why I spent the vast majority of this post focusing on the franchise’s transaction trends and history under Anthopoulos, Ozuna’s batted-ball profile and our contractual expectations for him rather than breaking down the quote itself.
Just to be clear, what I said was nothing against you, but I just find it funny how it seems so obvious at first glance yet you still have to do a write-up on it lol.
Though in this instance, it was a little different than a team like the Yankees saying “We want to extend Torres”. This one instead has to deal with the DH in the N.L, and their spending tendencies, which amounts to more than just words in a document.
The write up for things like this that are obvious is for the sake of creating baseball conversation for the MLBTR community. We’re all here to talk baseball and I guarantee Braves fans and other baseball fans will want to talk about this.
“I understand it is y’alls job at MLBTR to do write-ups on reports like these..”.
Yep. It is.
FredMcGriff for the HOF
Kind words from Marcell. His statement seems like more of a goodbye than anything. Obviously the Braves dodged a bullet with Donaldson. It’s painfully obvious Freeman needs a big bat to protect him in the lineup. I think it really hurt losing Duvall in the NLCS right away. I am kind of glad this wasn’t the year they won it all being a shortened season. The Braves knew lots of heartbreak losing Soroka and Hamels was a lost cause. Braves should have good pitching next year but HAVE to resign or replace Ozunas bat.
It does and it’s understandable. He bet on himself and took a one year deal when there was a three year offer on the table. He won’t be giving a discount and he likely knows the Braves won’t be stepping up into the area he expects. I’m sure he’d like to return. He’s probably not optimistic it will happen.
Ranger29, your alternate universe version sounds like The Onion.
I wish the Cardinals would sign him again making him the full time DH if NL decides on that route. Release Carpenter and Fowler.
Sign all the Cubans
That lineup becomes a lot more navigable for opposing pitchers without Ozuna’s production. I know I held my breath in the last series each time the Dodgers had to get through Acuna, Freeman, and Ozuna.
Us Braves fans held our collective breath when Markakis & Riley came up. They counteract any danger the top-3 presented and were rally killers. Kakes readjusted the last 2 games, but did not much going into it.
I closed my eyes when Riley and Kakes were up. Lol
I went to get a beer.
Same reaction Kakes had. lol
AA should have plenty of $ left over from letting so many employees go, close to 75. I’m sure his computer will tell them what to do. #we don’t need scouts, coaches, baseball minds!
I’ll believe it when I see it
How about never signing any relievers to multiyear big deals ever again?
As for Ozuna, only if the DH is back do i sign him. It will probably take a 4th year to get it done. Im just not sure i trust him in a long term deal
Ozuna has a ferocious swing!!!
1 good year in the last 3 years, if any team signs hin for anything but DH they will regret it,
When I look at his production, I see two good, one bad(bad because of his glove) and one decent. I think you’re being a little disingenuous.
He should be a very sought after man based off the season he’s coming off of with no QO to bring down his value. Every team could add his bat to their lineup.
For sure. And with the expanded playoffs likely to stay, more teams than ever will feel they have a legitimate shot to squeeze into the October field and do some damage. How rosters are assembled will change, which in my opinion is great for the game and for fans who don’t want to watch lengthy rebuilds where their team loses 90-100 games annually. It will level the playing field somewhat and give more teams a chance to compete.
Expanded playoffs need to go. It cheapens the regular season.
Rebuilds also aren’t as bad as you paint them. It’s fun to follow the drafts, the trades and the development of players.
I can see both sides of it. I could see not wanting to sit through years of 100 loss teams, but that only means that you will have 80 loss teams in the postseason. Now I am a baseball nerd, so I like tracking the progress of the Tigers or Orioles farms waiting to see some good signs of development, but how many casual fans get home, and proceed to look at MLBTR, the beat guys, or MLB. com? Instead of doing nothing or implementing a 16 team playoff structure, let’s keep it at 10, and implement a salary barrier that you need to surpass each season at like 60 million. Teams like the Pirates that are riding on a 40 million dollar roster, and still getting fans to show up to their crap-shoot is a joke. Maybe spend that extra cash on a decent player to drive attendance up, or if they still want to tank, give an outrageous contract to a guy who doesn’t deserve it (20 mil a year for Colin Moran). It could be done, but MLB has to start using their heads when compiling ideas.
Make that “salary barrier” (floor) $100 million.
Most pending free agents come off a good year, otherwise they won’t attract attention. Ozuna is no different. He kicked butt because he knows dollars are on the line. He screwed up by being fairly lazy his last season in St. Louis.
Do you think Trevor Bauer can command super dollars based on his best full season? Hell no. So he busted butt in 2020 and now everyone grants him superstar status and calls for 30 million a year. The system is and has been one sided for players for quite a while. Owners are SOL and usually have to eat the stupid contracts they must offer to be competitive. If they hold back for true value, players cry collusion.Players are win-win. Owners are lose-lose. Sometimes a player is worth the dollars, but not very often.
I feel like I am one of the few that loves Bauer, but thinks he’s AT MOST worth 25 a year. He will get paid like a 3 time Cy Young Winner, but I think his AAV should only be around 20-25.
The system is one-sided for the players?! That is perhaps the single worst take I’ve ever heard on here. Players can be held down in the minors to gain extra control where they play for peanuts. Once they’re called up they play for the minimum until they reach arbitration, where they have to fight for salary while the franchise tells them what it feels they stink at. Then once they’re lucky enough to finally reach FA and have some control over their careers they have QO and public scrutiny over their salaries to contend with. There is a segment of fan that doesn’t seem to realize hitting a baseball is hard.
That’s one-sided for the player?!
If an owner doesn’t want to pay salaries, don’t buy a baseball team. No sympathy here.
In addition to what Outlaw said, when players typically hit free agency they’re almost 30. Just a couple years before players are typically thought of as “old”. Their best years are used to the benefit of the owner for insanely discounted prices before, as Outlaw described it, players are able to get control of their careers.
No sympathy here.
I guess the ONLY catch for the players is they have to at least make the team. Minimum salary is over half a million. Where else are these guys gonna make that kind of money at entry level? Certainly not as a high school coach! Just like everybody else in the world, they have to pay their dues along the way in order get promotions and big bucks. Except for them, all it takes is one good season to guarantee a life of luxury after they retire.. Now the owners have to pay the minor leagues. Who else do you want to throw onto the payroll. How about independent leagues? How about sanitation for the city that hosts the teams? Come on, man. Players at the big level have it made at the owners expense. Do players pay for meals or medical expenses? Hell no. The owners cover that, too. No tears fall from my eyes for pro athletes.
Yes, league minimum is insane compared to what normal people make. But what the owners make is even more insane compared to what normal people make.
How can you bring up minor leaguers as any kind of example? You realize how little they make? Minor league teams generate money as well but they average LESS than minimum wage.
You can’t compare an athlete’s salary to the every man because what these guys do is a rare, elite skill. I know I couldn’t hit a ML curveball. Could you? It’s the same reason Doctors make more than cashiers. They’ve spent years working at something- something which not everyone could do.
You mentioned paying dues. What dues was Kris Bryant paying when he was held down just long enough to have his free agency pushed off?
If you get hurt on the job it’s worker’s comp, right? That’s why owners pay medical expenses.
Some people want to defend owners by saying sports is a business. Well, business has risk and expense. As Myth said, they tamp down these guys wages until they’re nearly 30, then usually cast them aside by 35. Zero sympathy that the owners have to pay the players handsomely in that small window.
But the owners still take ALL the financial risks. Just like the owners of a food franchise. It is real world stuff. You can’t have a VIP’s salary until you get to the top. Minor leaguers are the equivalent to the dishwashers of the food industry. You get paid what you get until you move up in the company. I should know, I used to be one of the dishwashers of the world until I moved up. You live in a dream world if you think the players are getting cheated.
You are comparing elite ballplayers to dishwashers… and YOURSELF??? YOU are the one in the dream world.
Yes, even minor leaguers are elite, rare compared to the average person. They are highly skilled workers, and you are comparing them to dishwashers and yourself. You’re nuts. I don’t care who you are, you’re skills are not as rare as the average minor leaguer. YOU want to get paid less than minimum wage??? From what you say, you would deserve it.
All the risk? You do realize where the hundreds of millions of dollars in profits teams make end up, right?? HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS IN PROFIT A YEAR FOR THE BEST
Where’s it all go? The owners pocketbook
And spoiler! There is no way you are as in demand as a major leaguer. No one cares about your special skill so no one wants to pay you 500K! If you are an anesthesiologist, maybe you can start comparing your salary to the 0.1% of the world, professional athletes
Owners pay minor leaguers below poverty wages, intentionally screw with players ability to hit free agency at their most prime age, oh yeah they can cut a player any time from years 1-6 (7 if you’re honest how the majority of owners operate).. if they deem them too expensive
You’re a freakin joke. Defending the billionaires crying they are too poor to spend money on an investment they spent hundreds of millions to purchase and make at least 10s of millions in profits in a normal year . yeah not gonna make many friends
So the billionaires should further line their pockets without doing anything but being rich enough to own a team? Without the players, the owners have nothing. They’re the product. Pay them.
What financial risk? The Marlins sold for billions. Billions. The Marlins. Owning a team is an easy investment for them if they can afford the costs. If they can’t, then don’t own a baseball team.
Steve, I thought this was interesting: “The GM pointed to uncertainties about 2021 revenue and whether they’ll play a full slate of games with fans in attendance next year as additional factors…”
Is MLB contemplating a possibility that next year won’t be “normal”? Does that imply another go-round with the Union on reduced salaries/proportional salaries?
There’s no guarantee of a 162-game slate and full fans in attendance next year, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re in for an interminable staring contest like the one we saw this year.
Tim touched on that a bit here and also linked to a WSJ journal that explores the situation at greater length if you’d like to take a look:
Actually, Ozuna would be perfect for the Orioles as DH
Him or Cruz, but both will probably go back to their prospective team and the O’s will sign no one of note
Braves fans who dislike AA are clueless. The guy has done a fabulous job in building a championship contender whose window won’t be closing anytime soon. They just came within a game of the World Series despite being without their best pitcher for essentially the entire season. He’s also made some astute free-agent signings with Donaldson, Ozuna, and d’Arnaud being recent examples. The Braves got great value from the one-year deals with Donaldson and Ozuna, then signed d’Arnaud a year after refusing to trade Anderson for Realmuto. Braves fans just to complain. They whined when Donaldson wasn’t re-signed but went mum when Josh fell off the face of the Earth in Minnesota. They also whined when he brought in the bum Ozuna. Good thing fans don’t call the shots.
You’re describing a portion of fans from every team. There’s always people who complain no matter what, and that’s normally casual fans who don’t know what they’re talking about.
Yes he is. But isn’t that what we all do anyway? We come on these boards and discuss with each other? That portion of the fan base discussing with the other. So what’s the problem?
@Cey Hey. I very much agree. We should be happy with what AA has done with the Braves. I also very much appreciate you not making statements like “all fans” are this and that.
I don’t dislike AA, but your entire comment is inaccurate. The Braves were already in the process of rebuilding before AA even came to Atl. He has hardly brought in any of the players, apart from the BP he assembled at the end of last year.
And Donaldson was a dumb signing. Camargo had a breakout year the year before, costs next to nothing, played stellar D and was years younger, controllable, and a switch hitter.
that 18 mil could have gone to a pitcher that we needed desperately.
The Donaldson signing was brilliant.
Camargo is not a regular 3B on a contender. His bat doesn’t play there. He ran into a good season, ala Chris Johnson.
Camargo had a career year (nothing in his minor league career indicated it was repeatable) and the braves felt that way so they got Donaldson at a good price. Great move by AA.
JD Martinez got 5/100 if I remember correctly but he was coming off a great 4 year run. Marcell had a great year this year but is harder to project. I’d think 4/80 would be fair but somebody will probably go higher.
JDM got 5/110, but that contract carried multiple opt-out provisions, which typically come at the expense of a few million in terms of annual salary. He was older and carried even less defensive value at a time when there was no NL DH on the immediate horizon.
Are they at risk of receiving no compensation if he walks? Doesn’t seem to be any risk here at all. If he walks they receive no compensation. Full stop. There is no alternative, is there? There is no sign and trade scenario here.
AA is usually ahead of the curve on most things, and IMHO he’s waay ahead of the curve on this one.. Welcome to the one-year rental player, eschewing long term deals (MOST of which reach a point of diminishing return at some point). There’s always going to be a Mookie or a Mike; beyond them, I see lots and lots of Donaldson/Osuna type deals.
Will fans be upset? The days of fan identification with one player are long passed. And if two rent-a-players brings a Trophy, flags fly forever. And EVERY winter becomes a MLBTR bonanza.
“Trading” Donaldson for Ozuna worked out brilliantly. I agree we’ll see more of these types of deals, especially with the expanded playoffs.
Your point about the days of fan identification with one player having passed is an opinion, and inaccurate. I can tell you for a fact there are other sports where I follow players and not teams. I’m more invested in baseball, so my fandom is more rooted- but there are still ex-Braves who have moved on where I cheer on their new teams so long as they’re not playing the Braves.
Anyone whose a fan of Jose Sucre can find him every night via mlb-tv or milb-tv. Fan-player identification went out when the “Game of the Week” did.
Given the choice of watching Mike Trout every night, or celebrating a World Series trophy, I think most would opt for the later.; Ask any Angel fan, who, on this very board, have pined to trade Trout if it would make the team more competitive. And who is (probably justifiably) more loved than Mike Trout?
If the Red Sox had gotten to the playoffs this year, the “Nation” would be saying “Mookie WHO?”……
No, it didn’t go out. It’s your opinion it went out.
Ripken. C. Jones. Jeter. It’s a special thing when guys play their whole career with one organization. Can you imagine if the NYY traded Jeter? Do you know the amount of backlash there would have been in NY?
If the LAA traded Trout, you best be sure you win a WS with players you acquire in that deal. Fans identify with Trout, and a lot will tune in for Trout. You go 59-103 because the mercenary blueprint didn’t work, why watch? Those guys will be gone next year, anyway.
Championships are fantastic, but only one team gets one every year. Different fans have different reasons for watching. As long as my favorite team was competitive, I’d rather watch my favorite star play for a decade plus than follow a revolving door of players to maybe win one WS.
Would love to see Ozuna in Ranger blue, but he will likely be out of budget range for JD. More likely as for as position players in free agency looking at Pederson, Hechavarria, Cron, and that ilk. Quintana, Archer, Wacha, maybe Tajuan Walker among pitchers, and a Castillo, Castro, Perez as a co-catcher with Trevino.
It was more than clear that Ozuna made Freeman even better – . I think more than Donaldson did. I had questions with the signing, but no more. Ozuna needs to reman a Brave if it can be done close to reason. I can’t think of another player who will fit the team as well.
I was in the camp that considered re-signing Donaldson a must because of what he did, and the boost it gave Freeman. I didn’t hate the Ozuna signing at all, but I will admit I didn’t think he’d protect Freeman as well. He did a tremendous job, though- way surpassing what I expected. I hope they keep him long-term.
I feel like with Melancon, Hamels and Greene all coming off the books, the money should be there even if the payroll takes a step back.
I think Freeman’s surgery probably helped him play painfree. Maybe that was where the improvement originated?
In all honesty having Ozuna behind him and Acuna in front didn’t hurt at all.
Not knowing yet whether or not there will be a DH in the National League is really affecting team planning and prognostication. It seems to me like that issue needs to be figured out rather soon, shouldn’t it?
It should’ve been figured out already. It’s a pretty easy scenario to discuss. Anyone against it at this point is crazy. Literally everyone benefits from it.
I would imagine something should be announced at the end of the World Series, or shortly thereafter, when free agency officially begins. Yeah, it’d be nice to know now with GMs planning, but this is Rob Manfried’s world. smh
Owners likely see it as a big negotiating chip with the players union for next years CBA, so the Q is do they give it away for nothing
you’re not wrong that it benefits all, but it’s all about leverage in negotiations
Throwing huge money at a 30 year old outfielder with a big body coming off his career season in a walk year? Classic mistake.
He’s not really an outfielder though, he’s a DH.
He’s not going to sign a 1 year deal so Atlanta will be moving on.
The value of MLBTR is that it’s a one-stop shop for news. I come here multiple times a day to see what’s new and to read the articles, and if a subject particularly interests me, I follow the provided links. If you start critiquing what’s news and what isn’t and it causes some stories to go unreported, then the site loses some of its value.
They’d be stupid not to re-sign him. At worst, the DH will be here in 2022 so one yr of his defense will be tolerable. I’d be good with 4 yrs in the 18-20 mil range.
I’d hope the Braves could offer three years at 20m per, DH or not, but I expect he’ll get a four year deal in the AL. Either way the Braves and Marcell will be fine next season, imo.
It’s tough to project Ozuna’s market for a number of reasons, but there will be a fair number of suitors. Off the top of my head I can see CIN, SF, ATL, TEX, and possibly SEA and BOS making offers. If MIA hadn’t picked up Marte’s option, they’d probably have been in play as well. There is a need in STL, but I just don’t see Ozuna returning there. I’ll predict 4/80 as his starting point.
His contract will hinge on whether or not the DH remains in the NL. He seems uniquely suited to that position, and the dude can rake.
I do think the money aspect of his contract will increase if the NL has a DH. Assuming it does, I still don’t think the his contract hinges on it for the braves… I don’t think they will resign him
You are wrong
I’d like it more if AA was open to resigning his pro scouting staff….
This is AA saying they won’t come close to resigning Ozuna. Said the same thing about Donaldson and braves were “not in the same realm” as other teams. Which is fine as long as they go out and get appropriate guys to fill in the holes. I hope they resign Ozuna, extend Freddie, retain the bullpen as best as possible, go get 1 elite pitcher or at least a very strong 4 or 5. Like a guy who would be a #2 on half the staffs but because soroka Anderson and fried are gonna lock down the top 3 he has to be our #4 or 5. Btw… I strongly believe Wilson is a lock for our #4-5 next year. So if this means letting Wright continue to work it out in AAA, then good
MLB & the MLBPA have to make a decision on the NL DH soon. This will impact a ton of players and teams this offseason and neither side gains an advantage by waiting for the 2021 CBA talks to finalize it. If the DH is installed permanently for 2021 & beyond, Ozuna will clean up on the open market this year. He should easily get 4/$88M with a 5th year option as well. If there is no DH next year, Ozuna may not get a 4+ year offer unless it is from an AL team (like Toronto) who can use a permanent DH with an occasional start in the OF.
IMO, the Braves need to prioritize their starting pitching. It would be great if they could resign Ozuna, as he is obviously a very talented player and contributes heavily to their lineup, but I feel like they would be better served using Ozuna’s money to help get Bauer or another starting pitcher.
That’s trading one hole for another, though. I’m not knocking TDA. He was fantastic. You can’t go into next year with him hitting 3rd, Albies I suppose 4th and maybe Duvall 5th? I don’t know how they’d do it, which is the problem.
The system is flush with pitching. Ideally, I’d like it if they extended FF, re-upped Ozuna and got a pitcher. If one big ticket has to go though, axe the pitcher and see if a young SP can step up.
I would prioritize pitching too. They let Soroka and Fried get too far and top arbitration. Both need extensions. Anderson could use an early one also to keep cost down. But I don’t see the economics working to keeping all the pitching and Freeman. That’s not even including Swanson. And no chance it includes Ozuna financially.
3 years with a 4th club option of 80 million then trade Ender Riley Folty and Ynoa for Carrasco and Lindor Ender helps there outfield with gold glove defense its just his hitting so who knows maybe a change of scenery for both him and Folty might lite a fire under them and see this as sink or swim
A pile of garbage for Lindor. Cmon now.
You can’t sign everyone ( Dodgers & Yanks try ) but if there is no DH in the NL the Braves might do better going all out on Bauer and looking for a third baseman who is more consistent. I won’t say give up on Riley yet because he has true power.
Would keep Duval also, nice power and is a fine defensive OF, that and a true team player, very unselfish.
I see Melancon leaving, age and salary. There is some thinning out to do, maybe build a better bench. Give Pache a shot at CF.
“You can’t sign everyone(Dodgers.. try”
Go ahead idiot. Tell me “everyone” the dodgers have signed. I’ll wait
Do better. Your narrative is just false
Anthopoulos: “He was awesome. We’d love to have him back. I certainly plan on having discussions. … We’re going to have to work hard to get as many answers as we can from a revenue standpoint, a DH standpoint, all of those things.”
That’s quite the tortured statement from Anthopoulos. It’s basically: No we’re not signing him, but I won’t say that now, but I’ll allude to a whole bunch of things I’ll refer back to when we don’t sign him.
I think the bigger question is what type of market will Ozuna find? He’s best suited for DH, but teams don’t generally pay top dollar for DH-only players. They prefer roster flexibility, and to rotate players through the position. Also, not to be ignored, there is no guarantee there will be a Universal DH in 2021 or even beyond. There is an assumption of a DH, but teams won’t pay on an assumption. Next, this was a partial season, and one that is significantly better than any previous season. He never even vaguely approached a 175 OPS+ prior, and he did this in a 60-game season. I don’t see any team paying him as if 2020 is a true talent level.
So in Anthopoulos’ defense, he may have an interest but perhaps he should wait to see what the market offers. If it’s not outlandish, the two sides having a good sleepover together may want to look at having Ozuna move in on a four year relationship.
I don’t see them signing Ozuna. I hope they use that money to resign Melanin and Greene. I hope they pick up one starter as well. Soroka, Fried, Anderson, FA and Wright /Wilson with this year’s bullpen will be scary.
Acuña, Pache and Waters in the outfield, with Riley, Swanson, Albies, Freeman, D’Arnaud and Duvall at DH should be fine
Braves can not afford both Freeman and Ozuna past 2021.
Spare Tire Dixon
I would not mind seeing the Braves put together a package to get Lance Lynn and Joey Gallo from Texas. I know it would cost Drew Waters and then some, but it would solidify the rotation and bolster the offense without breaking the bank.
Ozuna is going to be expensive and Atlanta is going to have to extend Freeman. Also, Fried, Soroka, et al will not stay cheap for long.
Lynn, Fried, Soroka, Anderson, Wright/Wilson
C d’Arnaud / 1B Freeman / 2B Albies / SS Swanson / 3B Riley / LF Gallo / CF Pache / RF Acuna / DH Duvall
Spare Tire Dixon
For the sake of all teams and players, I hope MLB plans on announcing the DH thing as soon as the World Series ends. A lot of roster plans will center on that decision.
I was in no way happy they ended up not paying Donaldson and yeah this feels similar but for some reason I just don’t think Ozuna will be looking at the same payday donaldson had (even without the lost revenue of 2020) That’s just a feeling. I think he is the ideal power bat to protect Freeman and the fact that he is clutch as hell helps. Whatever the Braves do money wise Freddie Freeman has to be the most important factor in all of this. I can’t imagine there should be any doubt he must be resigned. Like Chipper even the thought of Freeman wearing another team jersey is out of the question. You DO NOT let players of his caliber go. Knowing the type of person he is him having the season he did, winning the MVP and finally getting the respect he deserves (outside of the organization) won’t go to his head and leave for more money. Freddie has always been a Brave and always should be.. The fact that Acuna and Albies were locked up on great and cheap deals is wonderful.
Most of you are being too kind to Anthopoulos. We had that World Series, no adjustments after loss 2, then loss 3, A small part of me hopes we one and done again like the familiar first round so we can dump this guy and bring Theo to Atlanta. Knowing their patterns I don’t see any way they re-sign Ozuna and Freeman next year. You want to know who AA will replace Marcel with? Alex will re-sign Nick Markakis. The experts still feel Chris Bryant would be an ideal fit for Atlanta repacing the unproductive or proven Riley and Camargo, but not if Anthopoulos has anything to do with it, and I am a frustrated Braves fan.