The Atlanta Braves announced the signing of outfielder Marcell Ozuna on Tuesday. Ozuna inked a one-year, $18 million contract with the club.
Ozuna returns to the NL East after a two-year trek with the St. Louis Cardinals. Ozuna played five seasons with the Miami Marlins, becoming a two-time All-Star. In his final season in Miami, Ozuna hit 37 home runs and was recognized as a Gold Glover and Silver Slugger.
While with the Cardinals, Ozuna did not match his stellar 2017 campaign, but he was a steady contributor for the playoff-bound Cardinals. Over two seasons, Ozuna mashed 52 home runs and posted a .779 OPS. In the playoffs, Ozuna decimated the Braves, racking up nine hits in 21 at-bats and posing an OPS of 1.335 after he hit three doubles and hit homers in the series. He cooled off against the Nationals, but the damage had been done.
Moving into 2020, Ozuna joins a crowded outfield with superstar Ronald Acuna, Jr., former All-Star Nick Markakis and a plethora of potential platoon players. Ozuna will likely play left field for most of the season, but he has over 400 games of experience in center field, so he could potentially spell Acuna.
Ozuna has a career 19.5 bWAR, and he is likely due for an uptick in production in his age-29 season. After the loss of Josh Donaldson in free agency, Ozuna will provide some pop in the middle of the order in Atlanta. Ozuna has over 500 games of experience batting cleanup in Miami and St. Louis, so the Braves could employ him in a similar role to 2019 Josh Donaldson.