After failing to retain the third baseman Josh Donaldson, who opted to join Minnesota Twins, Atlanta Braves reacted swiftly and inked two-time All-Star left fielder Marcell Ozuna. Reportedly, Ozuna signed a one-year, $18 million deal with the organization.
The move was officially confirmed on Wednesday on Braves’ social media.
Ozuna, who spent the last two seasons with St. Louis Cardinals, played 130 games in 2019. He finished the regular season hitting .243 with 29 home runs and 89 RBIs. He has .263 batting average and 52 homers throughout his stint with Cardinals.
“He ran into some bad luck last year,” said Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos after the deal was done. “We think there’s a lot more in there. We think he can rebound to the season he had with the Marlins in 2017.”
Ozuna is expected to fill the void in the middle of the lineup that was left with Donaldson’s departure. Also, the one-year deal enables the team flexibility to consider other long-term options if the 29-year-old doesn’t deliver.
“This was just another chance to add another big power bat,” Anthopoulos added. “The focus wasn’t on getting an outfielder or a cleanup hitter. Our focus is just getting good hitters and good players.”
Marcell Ozuna made his MLB debut in 2013 with Miami Marlins. Over the course of his time in Miami, Ozuna had two All-Star appearances in 2016 and 2017, while also winning Gold Globe and Silver Slugger awards.
Ozuna’s career stats include .273 batting average, 148 homers, and 538 RBIs.