Which Atlanta Braves players could be traded in 2023?
#1) Marcell Ozuna
Arriving at the shock to very few in the Atlanta Braves fanbase, Marcell Ozuna appears on this list in the same priority spot that the Braves front office will likely have him in – number one.
Solving the “Marcell Ozuna issue” has been on the forefront of everyone’s minds since both Ozuna’s on- and off-field performance started to falter in 2021. However, 2023 provides a new opportunity for the Atlanta Braves to solve it. With the fresh slate this new season provides comes a new set of circumstances that could allow Atlanta to offload Ozuna to a willing patron.
For one, the 2023 season will see a full-length Spring Training – something that was not available to any of the players last season due to the lockout imposed during CBA negotiations. That’s significant because, especially for baseball players, routine is everything. Even the most minor of disruptions can cause a player to seriously struggle from the get-go, which makes it difficult to ever find solid footing during the long season.
If Ozuna can put together a promising Spring Training campaign, then it stands to reason that he could either be shipped to a team willing to take a desperate flier on a DH or potentially carry his performances over to the regular season to further solidify his identity as a worthy trade piece.
Even if Ozuna does manage to stabilize his behavior and sort out his swing, the $32 million that he’s owed until 2024 is still likely to be a pain point for a potential deal. Climbing out of the pits of a -0.9 fWAR since 2021 with that price tag over your head can be a tall task, so don’t be surprised if the Braves are willing to see minimal financial reprieve in a potential deal.
Certainly, previous comments made by Alex Anthopoulos that suggested no commitment to Marcell Ozuna past this upcoming Spring Training indicate that whether by trade or DFA, Ozuna is a featured name on the Atlanta Braves roster bubble.
Unfortunately, though, Ozuna isn’t the only issue in left field for Atlanta.