For the second year in a row, a one year signing is working out quite well for the Atlanta Braves.
Fresh off a monster night (see what I did there with Monster?) that saw him hit three absolute bombs in Boston, the second of which was his 1000th career hit, it might be time for the Atlanta Braves to consider if keeping Marcell around for the following seasons is a wise move.
Last season was not his best year as Ozuna battled nagging injuries and hit a career-low .241. However, as we all know, the Atlanta Braves saw first hand just how dangerous he could be when he destroyed them in the NLDS.
Perhaps, it was a small blessing for the Braves because they were able to sign Ozuna to a very surprising one year deal in late January for $18 million.
So far he has raked to a tune of a .295 batting average, 11 home runs, 29 runs batted in, and an OPS of .987.
At this very moment, an argument could certainly be made that Marcell Ozuna should be in the top 10 of NL MVP voting.
I think I know what everyone is thinking though, yeah but his defense…
And you would certainly be right. As we have seen first hand, Ozuna’s defense leaves a ton to be desired.
I certainly do not see a reunion happening unless the DH rule is implemented to stay, but I think most will agree whether we like it or not, it is here to stay. If it does go away, I see no way the Atlanta Braves bring back Ozuna especially with the value they have put on defense these last few seasons.
Tying down a specific player to be a teams’ DH might be an idea some would say is bad, but I think it is worth doing if it is for a player with the value of someone like Marcell Ozuna.
I think many people are a little surprised to see that Ozuna will not even turn 30 until November. The man is still in his twenties and barring injuries, can play for at least another 6 or 7 years presumably at a high level.
One other quick takeaway is it would seem that he is popular in the Atlanta Braves clubhouse, so I’m sure players would love for him to come back.
So what might it take dollar and year wise?
Obviously, I am no general manager here, but I would lean towards something in the three or four-year range and keeping it close to the $18 million he is already making. Maybe offer him something along the lines of three years and $55 million or give him a fourth year but bring down the AAV a couple million per year.
That’s just pure speculation on my part and something I would do. I would especially do it after looking at the free agency class following this upcoming season. Marcell Ozuna will be one of the bigger bats on the market and yes, that could obviously be an Achilles heel for the Atlanta Braves.
My vote is to keep him around and watch him possibly get to 350 career jacks if he keeps up his current pace, but only if the DH rule is here to stay.
What would you do? Let us know in the comment section below.