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The Atlanta Braves successfully managed to re-sign power hitter Marcell Ozuna, fending off other suitors despite uncertainty around the DH.
Marcell Ozuna is staying with the Atlanta Braves.
The Braves announced a done deal with the 30-year-old free agent on Friday evening via Twitter.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network has some details on the new deal, which will keep Ozuna in Atlanta for the foreseeable future.
The Braves finally made a move to keep Marcell Ozuna
Ozuna was one of the top free agents on the market after leading the NL in home runs in 2020. With plenty of interest from around the league surfacing, it was uncertain whether or not the Braves would be able or willing to keep him around.
As Spring Training approached with Ozuna unsigned and Atlanta failing to find an alternative, it seemed more and more likely for them to take the plunge. That’s what ultimately happened on Friday.
Ozuna’s role will be interesting to track going forward. He hit 18 home runs and had 56 RBI in his first season with the team but served largely as a designated hitter. Since the DH is not currently planned to exist in the NL this coming year, he’ll have to prove his worth in another position.
He did make All-Star appearances as a center fielder and a left fielder while playing for the Marlins in 2016 and 2017. The latter year he was a Gold Glove recipient. The team likely didn’t expect the DH role to be available for them when they first brought him in. Re-signing him is a clear sign they’re willing to make it work.
With Ozuna’s return now secured, the Braves can now look to pick up their fourth consecutive NL East title. This past season they made it all the way to the NLCS before falling to the Dodgers.