Do Red Sox have a shot at Marcell Ozuna? Braves GM addresses star's free agency

Darren Hartwell
·2 min read

Will Red Sox have a shot at Marcell Ozuna in free agency? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Red Sox likely won't spend big in free agency this offseason, but there's a talented outfielder who could be in their sights -- if his current team doesn't swoop in first.

Braves outfielder Marcell Ozuna is set to become a free agent after playing out a one-year, $18 million contract in Atlanta. Our John Tomase recently made a compelling case for Chaim Bloom and Co. to target Ozuna, who admitted in a recent Instagram post he's uncertain of his future.

Tomase: Why Marcell Ozuna makes sense for the Red Sox

Ozuna was a smashing success for the Braves this season, though -- he paced the National League with 18 home runs and 56 RBIs in 60 games -- and it sounds like they want him back.

"Marcell was amazing for us," Atlanta general manager Alex Anthopoulos told reporters Tuesday, via The Athletic. "He was awesome. We would love to have him back. Certainly plan on having discussions."

That doesn't bode well for Ozuna landing in Boston this offseason. But there's a catch: Ozuna, who's a below-average fielder, spent the majority of the 2020 season as a designated hitter after Major League Baseball instituted the DH in the National League for the shortened season.

It's unclear whether the NL will keep the DH in 2021. Without the DH spot, it may be harder for the Braves to justify paying Ozuna with Adam Duvall, Ronald Acuna Jr. and Nick Markakis manning the outfield.

"There's just uncertainty in so many areas," Anthopolous added. "Again, I’m not trying to be cryptic or foreshadow. We’re going to have to work to try to get as many answers as we can, from a revenue standpoint, DH standpoint, all those things.

"But there’s no doubt he was tremendous for us. He did a great job, he fit in great, and we’d love to have him part of what we’re doing going forward."

The Braves may deem Ozuna valuable enough to re-sign regardless of where he plays. But if you're a Red Sox fan, you're hoping for no DH in the NL next season, which may nudge the 29-year-old toward an American League club in free agency.