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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Marcell Ozuna gets one-year deal from Braves worth $18 million

ATLANTA—Free agent outfielder Marcell Ozuna and the Atlanta Braves reached an $18 million, one-year deal Tuesday that puts him on the team he helped beat in the playoffs last October.

Ozuna hit .429 with two home runs for the St. Louis Cardinals in their five-game win over the Braves in the National League Division Series.

The 29-year-old Ozuna hit .241 with 29 home runs and 89 RBI last season. His low batting average was something of an oddity because he ranked among the major league leaders in the highest percentage of hard-hit balls, according to Statcast.

And the hot stove stays on!

QLE Posted: January 22, 2020 at 12:37 AM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves, hot stove, marcell ozuna

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   1. salvomania Posted: January 22, 2020 at 09:46 AM (#5918166)
As a Cardinal fan I have mixed feelings: I did NOT want the Cardinals to sign Ozuna to a long-term (say, 4 years) contract, but I wouldn't have minded a 1-year contract, mostly as a placeholder until Dylan Carlson arrives.

He's a guy who always seemed like he could do damage, and did, sometimes, but nearly enough to rely on him as the "big guy" in the middle of the order. His OPS+ in two seasons with the Cardinals was 106 and 107, and that plus his not-great defense resulted in just 5.1 bWAR (5.4 fWAR) combined over those two seasons---not great numbers to reward with a $70-$90M four-year contract.

He had that one great season for the Marlins, in 2017, and could easily repeat it for the Braves in 2020.

But his performance with the Cardinals was such that if he does, it'll be more of a "good for him" from me than a "the Cardinals should have kept him."

There have been 183 players with at least 800 PA the last two years, and Ozuna ranks 97th in OPS+, below guys like Chris Taylor, Teoscar Hernandez, Nick Markakis, Stephen Piscotty, and and Justin Smoak. I wouldn't be moaning much if any of those guys had left my team as a free agent, either.
   2. salvomania Posted: January 22, 2020 at 09:52 AM (#5918176)
I see that ZIPS projects Ozuna to better his career OBP by 17 points (.346 vs .329) and his slugging by almost 50 points (.504 vs. 455).

I saw something recently that posited that Busch Stadium suppressed RH batting production more than any other ballpark, so maybe just getting out of StL will go a long way to righting his trajectory.
   3. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 22, 2020 at 09:52 AM (#5918177)
Well, he's certainly an upgrade on Markakis.
   4. bfan Posted: January 22, 2020 at 10:30 AM (#5918214)
Well, he's certainly an upgrade on Markakis.


Who has a better OPS+ than Orzuna over the last 2 years (per the above). I wonder how much of the slight drop in Markakis' performance last year was getting his wrist broken (and the ABs after that), as opposed to just being a year older than the year before.
   5. The Duke Posted: January 22, 2020 at 10:52 AM (#5918224)
#2. Do you think hard ground balls to the left side are more likely to get through in Atlanta ? Maybe. The clay infield is less predictable

#3 a healthy anyone would likely be better than markakis with a broken wrist. Ozuna May be better due to more power and speed but I wouldn’t guarantee a healthy ozuna is better than a healthy Nick. Everyone’s view of the big bear is colored by his huge 2017.
   6. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 22, 2020 at 10:52 AM (#5918225)
I wonder how much of the slight drop in Markakis' performance last year was getting his wrist broken (and the ABs after that), as opposed to just being a year older than the year before.


Probably not all that much, given that he had a wRC+ in the upper 90s in 2016 and 2017. Seems more like 2018 was the outlier there.
   7. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 22, 2020 at 10:55 AM (#5918229)
Ozuna May be better due to more power and speed but I wouldn’t guarantee a healthy ozuna is better than a healthy Nick. Everyone’s view of the big bear is colored by his huge 2017.


There are no guarantees in life, but in addition to being younger and healthier, Ozuna has had the higher fWAR total in each of the last seven years. Including 2013, when he was only in the majors for half of the season.
   8. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 22, 2020 at 10:58 AM (#5918234)

Probably not all that much, given that he had a wRC+ in the upper 90s in 2016 and 2017. Seems more like 2018 was the outlier there.

And really just the first half of 2018. .877 first half OPS, .701 in the second half.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: January 23, 2020 at 11:56 PM (#5918919)
Interesting. He turned down the Cards' QO, presumably because he thought he'd get a multi-year but maybe he just didn't like the Cards. And did he ask the Cards if he could come back at the QO salary and they said no? Anyway, the Cards get a lower draft pick out of this.

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