Atlanta Braves, MLB Free Agency

Atlanta Braves: 3 free agents to sign and 1 to avoid

Marcell Ozuna, Atlanta Braves

Marcell Ozuna, Atlanta Braves. (Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)

The Atlanta Braves have some moves to make this offseason to remain contenders.

The Atlanta Braves came up one win short of finally getting back to the World Series.

While it was a great season for the Braves, it is hard for this team’s rabid fanbase to not be disappointed about not reaching the Fall Classic. Despite having a 3-1 series lead over the top-seeded Los Angeles Dodgers, the Braves will have to wait until 2021 to think about winning the NL pennant for the first time since 1999. For now, the Braves turn their attention to free agency.

Here are three free agents to sign and one to avoid for the Braves

3

Marcell Ozuna

OF/DH Atlanta Braves

He will be expensive alright, but he might be worth the contract

While Braves Country would love to have Marcell Ozuna back on a long-term deal, he may be one-and-done in Atlanta, just like his predecessor Josh Donaldson. Ozuna had the best season of his eight-year MLB career in Atlanta uniform. He led the NL in home runs with 18 and runs batted in with 56. Ozuna slashed .338/.431/.636 on the year, nearly winning the Triple Crown in 2020.

There are four things working against the Braves on their quest to bring back Ozuna on a multi-year contract: Replicability, defensive liability, overall market demand and the Braves being own by a corporation. Ozuna is a great player, but he’s not putting up 2020 again. What position does he play in the field? How many other suitors are there and will Liberty Media cough up some dough?

It was a bold decision to let Donaldson walk in free agency and sign with the Minnesota Twins. Donaldson grew up in Braves Country and played his college ball at nearby Auburn University. Yet, Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos saw something in the right-handed power bat formerly of the Miami Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals. Looks like Anthopoulos made the right call.

If the designated hitter is here to stay in the National League, then it would make sense for Liberty Media to bring back Ozuna on a second contract. His right-handed power bat perfectly complements what first baseman Freddie Freeman can do from the left-handed batter’s box. However, there is a walkaway number in Liberty Media’s mind and we all know that is true.

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