Marcell Ozuna is one of the most prized free agents in the MLB right now. The 30-year-old led the NL with 18 home runs and 56 RBIs while hitting .338 with a 1.067 OPS during the 60 game sprint. He came in fifth in the NL MVP voting and is coming off what will likely end up being the best year of his career. Although all teams could use a bat like this, his interest may change depending on whether or not the NL has a DH, because he is a defensive liability. Despite this, due to his offensive skills, he is likely to have plenty of suitors for teams who lack run production.
1. Atlanta Braves
The most obvious fit is the Atlanta Braves. In his only season playing for the team, he had the most productive year of his career by far. Because he hit behind the likes of two MVP caliber players in Ronald Acuna Jr.and Freddie Freeman, he was destined to put up big numbers and have success, just as Ozuna did last year. He seemed to enjoy his time in Atlanta, as seen by his viral postseason photo celebration, so why not continue it for a few more years.
2. Cleveland Indians
The Indians lacked any sort of outfield production during the 2020 season. They traded Mike Clevinger at the trade deadline to try to solve this, but it did not help, as seen by their first-round exit. With Cleveland in the AL, Ozuna doesn’t have to play in the field and just focus on hitting as a DH. They were the 27th ranked offense in the league and Ozuna can provide a much needed spark to the lineup. If they want to have a chance to win the AL Central, they need to sign Ozuna to allow them to score against phenomenal pitching in the likes of Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn and Kenta Maeda
3. Houston Astros
The Astros are likely losing both George Springer and Josh Reddick to free agency. These two outfielders combined for nearly a third of the team’s total home runs. In order to be competitive once again in 2021, they need someone to pick up the slack for lost production and Ozuna is the man to do that. It is unknown if Ozuna would want to go to Houston after their cheating scandal, but for the right price, anything is possible.
4. Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati was perhaps the biggest disappointment in the league during 2020. With talented pitchers, such as Trevor Bauer, Sonny Gray and Luis Castillo, their offense did not provide any sort of run support to allow them to win games. They signed players like Mike Moustakas and Nick Castellanos, but clearly, that did not help. Ozuna would provide the runs they are looking for and allow them to potentially win the NL Central in 2021, even after losing Trevor Bauer.
5. Seattle Mariners
The Mariners are a playoff sleeper next year, but they might need a little extra help from Ozuna to get there. They were only three games under .500 and Ozuna could provide a needed veteran presence in the locker room to allow this young team to take the next step and be competitive in a relatively weak AL West. Not to mention, they were in the bottom 10 in the league in almost every single offensive statistical category, so Ozuna would greatly help them.
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