Marcell Ozuna signed a one-year deal with the Atlanta Braves, however, the latest Reds rumors suggest he rejected a multi-year offer from Cincinnati.
Marcell Ozuna recently signed a one-year/$18M contract with the Atlanta Braves, but that wasn’t the only offer on the table for the outfielder. The latest Reds rumors, courtesy of Jon Heyman, suggest that Ozuna had more than one multi-year offers, and apparently the Cincinnati Reds were one of the those teams.
Heyman, an insider at MLB Network, reported yesterday that Ozuna had multiple offers beyond the one-year deal he signed. Heyman claims that at there were three and four-year deals on the table for the 29-year-old, but Ozuna decided rather to bet on himself and sign with the Braves. We saw a similar approach last offseason from Yasmani Grandal.
One of those multi-year contract offers was handed out by the Cincinnati Reds front office. This shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone, as Marcell Ozuna had been on Cincinnati’s short-list all offseason. The former Cardinals left fielder has phenomenal power, and was thought to be nice upgrade to the Reds mild-mannered offense.
The question then has to be asked – why did Ozuna turn down a larger contract? Well, as Heyman said, Ozuna is betting on himself. We’ve seen players do this before. Obviously, though Ozuna received multi-year offers, he felt he was being undervalued. Heyman also notes, the multi-year offers did not provide the same average annual value of the $18M deal he signed in Atlanta.
Perhaps the Reds offered a deal similar to the contract Cincinnati offered Mike Moustakas (four-year/$64M), and Ozuna rejected it. Maybe it was a three-year deal worth $45M. We may never know the actual figures, but what we do know is that either Ozuna felt as though he’s more valuable than the offers he was receiving, or he really wanted to play for the Atlanta Braves.
Atlanta missed out on Josh Donaldson and immediately turned their attention to Ozuna. Looking to boost their offensive profile, the Braves obviously felt that adding Ozuna’s bat helps their chase for a National League Championship in 2020. In addition, by keeping the contract below the $50M threshold, Atlanta does not have to forfeit a draft pick.
The biggest positive that fans can take away from the latest Reds rumors, is that Dick Williams and Nick Krall have yet to give up on their quest to improve Cincinnati’s hitting. It’ll be curious if the Reds tread into the Nicholas Castellanos sweepstakes, as he’s now the best remaining bat on the free agent market.