Marcell Ozuna drew a lot of early attention once the free agent market opened, but there hasn’t been much recent news on the slugger’s quest to find a new team. As Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe plainly puts it, “there is little buzz around the 30-year-old,” as clubs don’t seem willing to move on Ozuna until there is a firm answer about whether or not the NL will adopt the designated hitter in 2021.
Though there has been some thought that Ozuna’s recent change in representation indicated that he wanted a quicker end to his free agent journey, there might be a lack of offers on the table, or perhaps a lack of offers that Ozuna finds acceptable, and he is also waiting for news on the DH situation rather than potentially leave more money on the table if the universal DH becomes a reality in relatively short order.
In other free agent buzz…
- Kyle Schwarber drew interest from at least a half-dozen teams before agreeing to a one-year, $10MM contract with the Nationals today, according to ESPN.com’s Jesse Rogers (Twitter link). The Twins, Blue Jays, Yankees, and Angels were some of the teams linked to Schwarber in earlier reports, and the level of interest is further evidence that there is “always a market for lefty sluggers,” as Rogers notes.
- Several of the most prominent names from the Twins’ 2020 bullpen have entered free agency, with Trevor May (Mets) and Matt Wisler (Giants) already signed to other rosters. On top of these departures, La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune considers it “unlikely” that Sergio Romo will be re-signed, while Tyler Clippard is a “maybe.” The Twins declined their $5MM club option on Romo’s services for 2021 and now could poised to move on entirely from the veteran. Minnesota has already signed Hansel Robles to add some experience to the bullpen, and while the Twins are hoping some of their younger arms also step up, Neal figures the club is continuing to explore the relief market since their current group “could use an additional hard thrower.”
Phillies should take a look at Clippard
Phillies should take a look at
Phillies should take a look at the signing of Harper. What a fraud. He could get an Oscar for impersonating a ball player
Every RP on the market
I’m greedy I admit but I think as fans we all are that said if there was a DH I’d love to see the Padres go after him. If not him Profar or Puig as a DH and in case Pham can’t go
Clarifying go after Ozuna, like it matters, haha
No reason for the Blue Jays to have had any interest in Schwarber due to the current makeup of the roster.
Who is their DH?
Vlad, Tellez, Teoscar. In that order.
I personally do not believe that the DH will be in play for the NL this season because it is a bargaining chip for the owners. If the players union gives up something in return, such as extended playoffs or a shorter season with a later start, then maybe. But the two sides don’t seem willing to compromise.
In any event, it continues to be absurd that teams are having to decide about free agents without knowing whether or not there will be an NL DH. I get that it’s a bargaining chip but it’s something that simply should be determined before free agency starts
Is there any way the universal DH isn’t in the next CBA?
(Forget I said that: Tony Clark. Anything is possible)
I hope it isn’t in there. I will be a big fan of anyone that blocks the universal DH.
Me too. I’d rather the dh just be abolished. I like seeing the pinch hitters, sac bunts, and pitchers running with jackets, Honestly.
You can still get all of those things with a universal DH
the thing is the owners think its some amazing bartering tool that the players wolnt pass up, but i gotta feel that this has been an option for some time, and if it hasnt gone through yet then maybe the players dont want it as badly as some think they do.
I think too many fans have gotten caught up in the thought process of “it’s an extra job.” Well for most owners that pie is a certain size, and if you want to give an additional seat at the table to someone, everyone’s portions are getting smaller. The DH benefits a very small group of hanger-ons. I feel like it’d be kinda infuriating for the guy in the field who has to work on his defense while less-talented DH shows up, takes 3 or 4 trips to the plate and collects his check.
They ARE in the entertainment business. DH …or pitcher: Who’s the more entertaining hitter?
What seems to have changed is ownership’s desire to maintain the “tradition”. I don’t think they are as locked-in as they might have been.
Agree with DS, too. It is more of a forgone conclusion than a valuable bargaining chip ….
Pitchers hitting is quite entertaining in a good way and a bad way.
I prefer watching pitchers hit. Thank you for at least posing that as a question though, and not assuming it as a statement of fact that everyone loves the DH.
deGrom and Syndegaard want to hit. They traditionally have taken batting practice seriously. Not seeing the same enthusiasm from other pitchers, though.
Tony Clark is pushing FOR the DH in the NL and has been for years. Its 15 jobs that pay $5 million more than an average position player earns in the NL. $75 million more money going to players.
The owners have already offered to give the union the DH if the union would okay expanded playoffs. The thing to understand is players don’t get paid to play in the playoffs. They get a small bonus if their team is in the playoffs, but no where near a 50/50 split of revenue. If the playoffs are expanded to the same number of teams that we had in 2020, that would mean between a $500 million and $1 billion increase in revenue for MLB.
Players said no to the expanded playoffs unless they got a share of the increased revenue which is fair. The owners said no to the players getting money from the expanded playoffs.
MLB received $450 million in additional revenue from the expanded playoff format in 2020 of which about 30% was shared with the players.
We might see the DH in 2022 if the owners agree to that level of revenue sharing from the playoffs while increasing the CBT by 10% ($210 million is ridiculously low for teams like the Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, and Giants that will have more than $500 million in annual revenue in 2021) with a built in increase adjusted for inflation.
There’s absolutely no guarantee of a DH generating more payroll output. In recent years teams have trended towards using the DH as a method of hiding an aging bat or giving guys pseudo days off. There’s no guarantee that any NL team would sign anyone specifically to be a full time DH.
Looking at it now, Adam Duvall might be a better fit in Washington than Schwarber. He brings similar power, is faster, might not get on base as often but is a much better defender. $10 million would have easily gotten Duvall.
I was thinking the same thing. Big overpay for schwarber
I really wish I can be a fly on the wall when the Union and MLB discuss the DH in the NL because it seems to me that both sides should want it but neither side seems to admit it because they both want to use it as a bargaining chip.
Maybe I’m off on that but the relationship between the Union and MLB has become so uncompromising that both sides are going to get as big a piece of the pie as they can. I don’t expect them to make the best decisions for baseball.
There’s going to be a strike.
The players union does want the DH. Clark made that clear several times since becoming the head of the MLBPA. Several NL owners have said publicly that they are against it. The reason given is that a DH is about $5 million more expensive than the average position player.
Sergio Romo tweeted about ending his season in Mexico to sign a deal with an MLB team on NYE. Doesn’t look like anything has come of it, but surprisingly not picked up at MLBTR. https://www.purobeisbol.mx/lmp/pierden-charros-a-romo/
Wait for the DH? It’s not as if Ozuna can’t play defense at all. If a team needs an impact bat, they should sign him now rather than wait. Unless, of course, Ozuna’s side is doing the waiting (which is doubtful).
Clearly you didn’t watch him last year. It was Matt Kemp bad. Still I want ozuna back.
The Braves will do the thing where they want to seem interested, but the minute the ask went passed 2 years, they weren’t. I think they should just sign him though and take the hit in the field. It’s a COF spot, not the shortstop position we are talking about.
Dave O’Brien did a phenomenal long-form look into Ozuna’s offensive and defensive value. The Athletic is a (worthy) subscription-based site, but definitely worth the read. Basically, it summarized that while Ozuna’s defense is by no means good, what he offers you offensively is worth him in the field for 2021. If it wasn’t a forgone conclusion that the DH would be included in the next CBA and a team had to live with Ozuna’s defense for the next 3-5 years, that’s understandable. But for a year and then moving him to DH, teams should be willing to do that.
Spare Tire Dixon
100% agree. Isn’t that supposed to be the whole appeal of sabermetrics, WAR, etc anyway? To determine whole value rather than evaluate his defense in a vacuum? The idea that Marcell can move to DH and let Waters take over LF in 2022 makes Ozuna a lot more appealing
So the DH question is rather moot, isn’t it? The MLBPA got the 26-man roster (even pre-Covid). I doubt that they care it’s for a DH or a 3rd string catcher.
It’s just not the big “chip” that most people think. A 27 (28?29?) man roster would be much more significant. And the 40-man limit is hardly something that came down from Sinai.
Yep it is
Still no DH answer is why Manfred and Baseball have become a joke and losing fans by the bucketfuls.
The fact that its already January and we have no definitive answer on whether or not the NL will have the DH is actually a bit concerning looking ahead to the CBA negotiations next winter. I think there is real possibility that the ’22 season is already in jeopardy
Ozuna prob doesn’t want to sign unless he knows about the DH in the NL also. His value skyrockets if the NL has a DH.
So Schwarber had lots of interest but teams are waiting on the DH for Ozuna? Ok.
The difference is probably the fact that Schwarber got $10 million which is about $3 million more than last season and played in the field much of the season. Ozuna made $18 million last year and probably has no desire to take less money and was mostly a DH last year. Signing Ozuna is going to cost at minimum twice what it cost to sign Schwarber so it makes sense that Ozuna’s market is moving slower
Spare Tire Dixon
It’s only because Ozuna is going to cost significantly more than Schwarber.