Atlanta Braves should follow Arizona’s Lead and DFA Marcell Ozuna Now
By Fred Owens
Now For Something Totally Different
In situations such as this, the veteran player usually declines assignment, gains his release, and searches for a new home. Uggla caught on with the Giants for four games and received a World Series ring. The following season, the Nationals gave him 141 PA before releasing him, but Uggla was hitting better at the end than Ozuna is now.
If Ozuna accepts assignment, he doesn’t have to uproot his family or leave them in Atlanta while he joins another team’s minor league system. He’ll get playing time and consistent ABs with Gwinnett.
The Braves don’t need the roster spot, so if he miraculously finds his stroke, they can recall him and get some value from the deal. Regardless of his off-field issues, the team has a significant investment in fixing him, which makes a trip to AAA beneficial for both sides.
I don’t expect this to happen, but if he wants to continue playing, a team that thought enough of him to give him the contract and has room on their roster is his best chance of getting back this year.
A Roster Crunch is Coming
The club will DFA Ozuna, the only question is when. When Michael Harris returns, the Atlanta Braves will have to make a move on the active roster. Sam Hilliard is playing superb defense and crushing the ball at the plate, making Eli White the obvious odd-man out . . . unless they DFA Ozuna.
Travis d’Arnaud is eligible to return now and took batting practice today but remains on the concussion list as I write this. Concussions are serious business, and d’Arnaud’s value to the roster includes more than squatting behind the plate every other game; it makes sense to protect him as much as possible.
Chadwick Tromp is the obvious candidate to leave when TDA returns, but I’d DFA Ozuna instead. Tromp is considered a very good defensive catcher, and at this point, he’s as likely to run into one as Ozuna.