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Friday, February 05, 2021

Outfielder Marcell Ozuna returns to Atlanta Braves on four-year, $64 million deal

The Atlanta Braves are bringing back Marcell Ozuna, signing the slugger to a $64 million, four-year contract.

The Braves announced the deal for the 2020 NL home run and RBI leader on Friday night, less than two weeks before pitchers and catchers are set to report for spring training. The contract includes a fifth-year club option for $16 million that would take it to $80 million with a $1 million buyout, which would yield Ozuna $65 million in guaranteed money.

Ozuna took a gamble on himself after the 2019 season, turning down a $17.8 million qualifying offer from the St. Louis Cardinals, and signed a one-year, $18 million deal with the Braves in late January. The move paid off handsomely, as the slugger finished sixth in the National League MVP voting after leading the league with 18 home runs, 56 RBIs and 145 total bases. He was third in the NL with a career-best .338 batting average and .636 slugging percentage.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 05, 2021 at 11:05 PM | 21 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves, marcell ozuna

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   1. The Duke Posted: February 06, 2021 at 12:23 AM (#6004070)
It’s looking like a cage match in the East. I think the Phils and Nats are going to find themselves in no mans land. Not good enough to take on the big boys and too expensive to rebuild. I expect the nationals should probably trade off everyone but Soto/turner next offseason. The Phillies, if they are going to try, need more pitching.

The giants in the west will have the same issue. Rockies already threw in them towel. I assume the d-backs will as well.
   2. flournoy Posted: February 06, 2021 at 12:31 AM (#6004072)
Am I wrong, or is this a bargain for the Braves? His bat was MVP-caliber last year, and the AAV of the contract is half of what the big superstars are getting these days. His defense isn't great, but your tolerance on that end is pretty high for someone who hits half as well as he did in 2020.
   3. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: February 06, 2021 at 01:19 AM (#6004076)
Am I taking crazy pills or are people forgetting last year was only 60 games? He's had 2 very good years with the bat (well 1, plus last year's partial season), then a handful of averagish to good, and he's absolutely brutal in LF. He was pretty much a full time DH last year, in his 20's...sure, if he hits like last year it doesn't matter how terribly he fields - and now there's no DH in the NL. But that's not really likely, is it?

Joc Pederson has a career 116 OPS+ and Ozuna has 117. Ozuna got $64mil guaranteed, Pederson $7mil...I'm not seeing that big of a difference last year notwithstanding.

(Another comp - Schwarber 113 OPS+ and $10mil)
   4. The Duke Posted: February 06, 2021 at 08:17 AM (#6004079)
Ozuna is not a brutal left fielder. He’s very fast and can outrun his route issues. He’s had some wonderfully bad plays but he’s no better or worse than most left fielders. His arm has been a problem because of the shoulder injury but it looks better than it was 2-3 years ago.
   5. SoSH U at work Posted: February 06, 2021 at 09:44 AM (#6004086)
Am I taking crazy pills or are people forgetting last year was only 60 games? He's had 2 very good years with the bat (well 1, plus last year's partial season), then a handful of averagish to good,


Change "with the bat" to "on the mound" and you could be asking the same thing about Trevor Bauer.
   6. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 06, 2021 at 10:20 AM (#6004092)
Career bWAR:
Ozuna 21
Joc 11
Schwarber 5
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 06, 2021 at 11:17 AM (#6004095)
What they're projected to do is what matters. If we average Zips and Steamer we get:

Ozuna - 124 wRC+, 3.3 WAR
Pederson - 114, 1.8
Schwarber - 117, 2.1

I think the higher AAV for Ozuna makes sense, but he is is no way a superstar.
   8. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 06, 2021 at 11:47 AM (#6004101)
I think the Phils and Nats are going to find themselves in no mans land. Not good enough to take on the big boys and too expensive to rebuild.


That's like ... not a terrible place to be, at all? Much better to be in no man's land than rebuilding, as a fan.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 06, 2021 at 12:03 PM (#6004102)
I think the Phils and Nats are going to find themselves in no mans land. Not good enough to take on the big boys and too expensive to rebuild. I expect the nationals should probably trade off everyone but Soto/turner next offseason. The Phillies, if they are going to try, need more pitching.


The talent gap doesn't look all that huge. Per Fangraphs the Mets are at 40.1 proj. WAR, Braves at 38.4, Nats at 33.6, and Phils at 31.2. That's well within the range of normal over/under-performance and variation. If Fried or Morton or deGrom or Carrasco miss 3 months, the Braves and Mets are right back with the pack.
   10. JRVJ Posted: February 06, 2021 at 12:39 PM (#6004103)
Last year's Phillies team was hurt mostly by the worst bullpen in the history of baseball (with all the provisos that it was a shortened season).

While injuries are a threat everybody faces (and which hurt the Phillies a lot last year), just having an average bullpen would make the Phillies a MUCH better team than they were last year.

Have the Phillies improved their bullpen?

Yes, the Philies have improved their bullpen significantly (particulary thanks to signing Archie Bradley), though they are still missing one extra elite arm in my opinion.
   11. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 06, 2021 at 12:57 PM (#6004105)
That's like ... not a terrible place to be, at all? Much better to be in no man's land than rebuilding, as a fan.
Personally, as a fan I’d much rather hear “we’re building toward sustained success and have a viable plan” than “yeah, maybe we’ll find our way into to a wild card game.”
   12. The Duke Posted: February 06, 2021 at 02:07 PM (#6004109)
9. In absolute numbers it doesn’t look that big but it’s a 20% gap. On top of that I don’t think either of the two lesser teams has the kind of depth that the Mets/Braves have. And I don’t think the Mets are done.
   13. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 06, 2021 at 03:09 PM (#6004118)
At least Bauer’s one great full season was only three years ago, as opposed to four for Ozuna. But yeah, I agree. Gammons posted a tweet earlier saying that Ozuna would have expected a $100-million contract a few years ago but I’m just not seeing it. Lots of guys have great 60 game stretches that are obscured within the contours of a full season.
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 06, 2021 at 04:56 PM (#6004130)
9. In absolute numbers it doesn’t look that big but it’s a 20% gap. On top of that I don’t think either of the two lesser teams has the kind of depth that the Mets/Braves have. And I don’t think the Mets are done.

Absolute numbers are what matter. It's 5 to 9 games. You probably only have to beat one of the two to make the playoffs. The SD of team performance is something like 8 games. The Phils and Nats have a very real chance at the playoffs. Way to good to give up on adding talent.
   15. The Duke Posted: February 06, 2021 at 06:07 PM (#6004131)
It might be fair to say his floor is what you get in 2016, 2018 and 2019 while his upside is mvp caliber play. My take is that moving from stl which has a rinky-dink offense and a park that suppresses offense to a team in Atlanta with lots of offense and a better park helped. I also suspect not having to play defense much also helped.

I really like this contract at this price. He plays every day, good influence on the dugout, has MVP upside and can play the field until the DH becomes reality. He’s sneaky fast and a good base runner too.
   16. bfan Posted: February 06, 2021 at 08:38 PM (#6004144)
He played CF for the Marlins until he was 26, so he must have a baseline of solid fielding skills. Of course, he probably wasn’t 225 pounds then.
   17. Ron J Posted: February 06, 2021 at 09:26 PM (#6004148)
#16 Joc Pederson was a decent CF when he first came up as well. Looks like his speed went fairly quickly.
   18. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 06, 2021 at 09:41 PM (#6004152)
I suspect the Braves believe the universal DH will be adopted before Ozuna’s 4-year deal is over.
   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 06, 2021 at 10:32 PM (#6004155)
Personally, as a fan I’d much rather hear “we’re building toward sustained success and have a viable plan”

Well, three out of four times you hear that, ownership is just bullshitting, and prioritizing profits over winning, so I 'd rather not hear that.
   20. Nasty Nate Posted: February 06, 2021 at 11:01 PM (#6004157)
Agreed.

The Phillies are trying towards sustained success. They may or may not get there but i like there chances more than most of the teams that are supposedly building.
   21. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 07, 2021 at 09:35 AM (#6004172)
The Phillies are trying towards sustained success. They may or may not get there but i like there chances more than most of the teams that are supposedly building.

True. Another critical factor here is the shape of the rest of the NL. The Wets has the Padrea and Dodgers, and three dreadful teams. The NL Central is 4 mediocre teams, and the worse than dreadful Pirates. Three playoff teams are coming from the LAD/SD loser and the NL East. It's a great season to be going for it in the NL.

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