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The Atlanta Braves are not out of the Marcell Ozuna sweepstakes just yet after all.
With spring training rapidly approaching, the Atlanta Braves have not saved their left field/power bat issue, yet Marcell Ozuna remains unsigned. Is a return to the Braves still on the table for Ozuna at this point?
Ozuna won a Silver Slugger a season ago in Atlanta, leading the NL in home runs and runs batted in. However, with there being no designated hitter in the National League this year, it has complicated the Braves’ potentially bringing back Ozuna on a premium deal. With that in mind, they have not given up on him entirely. Perhaps there is a pathway Ozuna returns to the Braves?
Why is re-signing Marcell Ozuna so important for the Braves?
Atlanta is one of a handful of teams in the NL who can win the pennant. The Braves came up a game short of getting back to the World Series for the first time since 1999. So they are clearly in win-now mode. If they were to let Ozuna walk away for nothing, it depletes what was one of the best lineups in baseball from a year ago. Ozuna would absolutely help another contending team.
So with teams like the Tampa Bay Rays and potentially the St. Louis Cardinals interested in a reunion, Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos needs to act swiftly to bring back his power-hitting left fielder. Even if he is better served as a designated hitter, Ozuna has won a Gold Glove before and the Braves signed him before they even knew the 2020 season would have a DH.
Anthopoulos clearly does not want to bid against himself on a potential new deal with Ozuna.