With the offseason kicking into gear, we are going to run a series of polls asking about what you think the Texas Rangers should do in regards to various players on the free agent market. We have used Jon Heyman’s predictions in the past, but since he hasn’t been doing them lately, we will use the Fangraphs predictions instead, along with the predictions from Kiley McDaniel at ESPN.
Today, we are looking at left fielder/DH Marcell Ozuna of the Atlanta Braves. Ozuna signed a one year deal with Atlanta this past offseason, after a couple of disappointing seasons in St. Louis (which acquired him from the Miami Marlins after the 2017 season). Ozuna had a dominant season for the Braves, slashing .338/.431/.636 in 267 plate appearances and putting up a 2.5 fWAR/2.3 bWAR.
Ozuna is a puzzle of sorts — he put up a 1067 OPS in 2020, and a 924 OPS in 2017, but otherwise has topped out at 800 OPS in a season. He’s a righthanded power hitter who hit 37 home runs in 2017, but who has a career .466 slugging percentage — not bad, but not what you’d expect from a middling OBP middle-of-the-order bat. His batted ball data suggested prior to 2020 that he was hitting the ball harder and better than his raw numbers would suggest, but his spray pattern was such that he was easier to defend, which would mean his putting up lower numbers than his expected numbers may not be all due to back luck. He was a center fielder when he came up, but shoulder surgery and general athletic decline have him now largely limited to left field duty in the field, and the general consensus is he’s best suited for DH duties. There’s a lot to like with Ozuna, but there’s also a lot of warning signs — guys with his type of profile generally don’t age well (and Ozuna turns 30 shortly), but then, that’s what we said about Nelson Cruz.
Fangraphs projects Ozuna at 4 years, $70 million. McDaniel has a shorter, higher AAV deal projected at 3 years, $60 million. We will use the bigger contract for our poll.
At 4 years, $70 million, would you want the Rangers to sign Marcell Ozuna?
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Would you want the Rangers to sign Marcell Ozuna to a 4 year, $70 million deal?
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Probably, but I’m not enthusiastic about it
Probably not, but I wouldn’t hate it