Braves bring back Ozuna on $65 million, 4-year deal

ATLANTA (AP) Marcell Ozuna is going back to Atlanta, with or without the designated player.

The Braves recovered Ozuna’s power bat for the middle of their lineup on Friday night by signing the slugger to a $65 million, four-year agreement.

The Braves revealed the offer for the 2020 National League crowning achievement and RBI leader less than 2 weeks prior to pitchers and catchers are set to report for spring training. The offer consists of a fifth-year club alternative for $16 million with a $1 million buyout.

The Braves made the significant dedication to Ozuna in spite of having no guarantee there will be a DH in the NL in 2021. He thrived in the function in 2020, assisting the Braves win the NL East and come within one win of advancing to the World Series. The Braves lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Video Game 7 of the NL Champion Series after leading the series 3-1.

Ozuna’s worth to the group, in the clubhouse and as lineup security for 2020 NL MVP Freddie Freeman, was vital to the group’s hopes of winning a 4th straight NL East title and making another run for the World Series.

The offer drew instant approval from Freeman, who published on his Twitter account “love this!! Let’s go!”

The 30-year-old Ozuna signed an $18 million, 1 year complimentary representative offer with Atlanta in 2015, and after that assembled his finest offending season throughout the pandemic-shortened project. He batted .338 with 18 homers and 56 RBIs, directly losing out on a Triple Crown. He began all 60 video games, publishing a career-best 1.067 OPS and ending up 6th in NL MVP ballot.

“My power came because I’m healthy,” Ozuna stated after the season. “… I just came ready and give my best to my teammates and let’s go play.”

Ozuna was appreciated and liked by colleagues, consisting of Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies.

“I’m a guy that’s got a couple years in the big leagues and they give much respect to me and I give respect to them,” Ozuna stated. “We have respect together. We have success. It’s not because they are Latin guys. It’s because they are my teammates.”

Ozuna would open the season as Atlanta’s forecasted starter in left field if the DH is not restored.

The NL embraced the DH in 2015 as part of baseball’s health and wellness procedures for playing through the pandemic. Ozuna made 39 starts as Atlanta’s main DH.

Big league Baseball proposed restoring the universal DH in talks with the gamers association recently, however the union turned down the proposition, which likewise would have postponed the start of the routine season and broadened the postseason field. It’s still possible the sides consent to bring back the DH this year, or throughout settlements for a brand-new cumulative bargaining arrangement after this season.

With Ozuna secured, Atlanta will return basically the very same lineup that ended up second in the majors with 348 runs in 2015 – one behind the World Series champion Dodgers. The Braves have actually likewise contributed to the rotation by signing veterans Charlie Morton and Drew Smyly.

Smyly, a left-hander, signed a one-year, $11 million offer. Morton, a right-hander, signed for one year at $15 million.

Braves revive Ozuna on $65 million, 4-year offer initially appeared on NBCSports.com

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.