Despite a debut 2020 season in Atlanta which saw him come close to winning the National League Triple Crown, ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that outfielder/DH Marcell Ozuna is looking likely to sign elsewhere in free agency.
Olney says that there is very little chance that the burly outfielder, who hit .338 with 18 home runs and 56 RBIs in a monster season for the Braves, will re-ink with his 2020 team thanks to their organizational wariness to sign veteran players to long-term deals, which he is seeking.
Ozuna is dealing with the handicap of teams not knowing whether the designated hitter will be used in both leagues next season. If it is, NL teams would be more likely to give a long-term deal to the Dominican slugger, whose defense has gone downhill in recent seasons.
The White Sox, Blue Jays, Mets, and Giants have been some of the teams that are reportedly interesting in adding Ozuna this offseason, who is reportedly looking for at least a four-year contract.
It remains to be seen, however, whether or not a team will be willing to offer him that sort of deal based on diminished revenues following a COVID-19-affected 2020 campaign.
Spring Training gets underway next month, and it appears that Ozuna will not be with the Braves when that time comes despite his success with the team last season.