This day in Braves history: Atlanta re-signs DH to multi-year deal

A current Braves slugger made his way back to Atlanta on this day in 2021.

Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves
Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

On this day, February 5, in 2021, the Atlanta Braves made one of their biggest free agent signings of that offseason, bringing back a familiar face to the organization in slugger Marcell Ozuna.

After signing as a free agent with Atlanta the offseason prior on a one-year deal, Ozuna was simply a key factor in the Braves' success during the 2020 season. Slashing .338/.431/.636 across 60 games during the shortened 2020 season, Ozuna would lead the National League with 18 HR and 56 RBI to win a Silver Slugger and finish sixth in MVP voting, positioning himself as one of the top free agents that next cycle at his respective position.

This Day in Braves History: Atlanta re-signs Marcell Ozuna to multi-year deal

Ozuna would certainly cash in off that 2020 season as well, as Atlanta brought back the outfielder on a four-year, $64 million deal on February 5, 2021, which also included a fifth-year club option in 2025. Of the moves during that 2020-21 offseason, the signing of Ozuna was one the biggest alongside a familiar face in Charlie Morton.

After signing that deal, Ozuna would go on to appear in only 48 games with the Braves in 2021, as he slashed .213/.288/.356 with seven HR and 26 RBI. Ozuna would also struggle at times in 2022 as well, slashing .226/.274/.413 with 23 HR, 56 RBI, and two SB across 124 games.

Ozuna's best single-season under his current deal would come this past year in 2023, as the veteran slashed .274/.346/.558 across 144 games. The 33-year-old also hit 40 HR with 100 RBI and a .905 OPS, while also posting a 3.3 bWAR.

Entering the fourth year of that deal in 2024, Ozuna is expected to be a key part of Atlanta's everyday lineup as the DH this year. As to whether or not the fifth-year option in that deal is picked up by the Braves as well, it likely depends on what lies ahead for Ozuna this season.

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