Why Braves May Not Be as Interested in Marcell Ozuna
Why isn’t Ozuna the Top Choice for the Atlanta Braves?
I asked Braves fans on Twitter if they’d rather sign Realmuto for 5 years and $125 million or Ozuna for 4 years and $75 million.
The overwhelming majority of the responses were for Ozuna, which was a little surprising to me considering Realmuto is considered by most to be the best in the game at his position.
You’d then have the best catcher in the game, the best first baseman in the game, a top five outfielder in the game, and a top five second baseman.
But I get it from a Braves fan perspective. That’s a lot of money and years for a 30-year-old catcher, and Atlanta already has a pretty good catcher in Travis d’Arnaud — as well as a couple of top prospects who could be ready in 2022.
Plus, Ozuna fills a hole that the current roster has in left field (maybe).
I think maybe one of the biggest reasons the Braves are balking on Ozuna at the moment is because his defense was even worse than they thought when they signed him last offseason.
Without the certainty of a DH in 2021, it makes it really hard to pay him all that money when he’s such a liability in the field.
Even more than that, do you really want to pay a guy close to $20 million a year to play 15 minutes in a game as the team’s DH?
To me, there are far better ways to piece together a DH for a lot cheaper, and maybe that’s what the Braves are thinking.
I’m also concerned that we’re going to be paying high on him after a great stint in 2020 that really could have just been a hot streak over two months.
Do you really think the Braves are going to get another wRC+ plus season over 150 from Ozuna again?
Even in his best full season in 2017, he had a wRC+ of 143.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Ozuna goes back to his career norm of around 110 over a full season.
That’s still a really good player, but not the type of production you’d be paying top dollar for.
Of course, that’s more my thinking and not the Braves, but I have to believe the same thoughts are running through their minds; otherwise they would have already brougth him back.