Ozuna than Later, Can Braves Dump Marcell?

37 times in 1982, he took one last puff on his Marlboro, extinguished the cig on the bench, exited the dugout, made his way to the on-deck circle, then to the plate, and sent a ball into orbit. 156 times, he carried the same routine, he struck out. Luckily, the walk to a fresh cig was 360 feet shorter. 59 times he walked. All in all, 37 home runs didn’t amount to much as he only carried a .717 OPS and a 0.1 WAR. This player isn’t Marcell Ozuna, but Marcell is doing his best to imitate Dave Kingman while donning a Braves uniform…minus the cigs.

Ozuna has went deep 17 times, which is quite impressive considering that his OPS sits right at .700. Of players that have more than 200 PAs as DH, only Miguel Cabrera, Nelson Cruz, Franmil Reyes, and Mike Moustakas have worse results. However, Ozuna stands as the only player (whom DH is primary position) with 200 PAs or more on a team with a winning record to have an OPS of .700 or less. It might get better, but Ozuna’s contract is a problem. However, is it a problem that the Braves can absorb? With a record setting 2021 and a bopping Truist Park that could exceed 3 million fans in 2022, could the Braves absorb some of Ozuna’s cost and rid themselves of this nightmare? Probably not, but I’ll try to find some scenarios.

About$45MM. That’s how much the Braves owe Marcell Ozuna through the 2025 season. For a player worth nothing, that’s hard to hide in a transaction. The Braves would have to add to the deal, both in money and in players, in order to make it work, unless there’s another equally bad contract out there. In researching the largest contracts currently in the MLB, it takes awhile to get to a player not pulling his own and/or the team willing to deal said player.

I went through Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Francisco Lindor, Fernando Tatis Jr., Bryce Harper, Giancarlo Stanton, Corey Seager, Gerrit Cole, Manny Machado, Nolan Arenado, Stephen Strasburg, and Anthony Rendon before I got to the first interesting name and the floodgates opened. Seriously…how can GMs be this dumb? While the bad contract swap is, for the most part, a pipe dream, the Braves are in a window, have no need for Ozuna, and could take a swing at a struggling pitcher to bring back to former glory.

Here are some names that piqued my interest..

The Ever-Sought After, Rarely Done Bad Contract Swap

  • Joey Votto: Having a bad year. Doesn’t make much sense considering Braves just traded for Matt Olson. Could Olson and Votto share DH/1B duties? I think the Reds are open to trading everyone…except Votto.
  • Jason Heyward: Heyward is beyond bad this year and has been for 1/2 a decade. Still, his contract would be up after 2023 which would consolidate funds and the Cubs would be taking a $5MM gamble that Ozuna could rebound. Cubs would have to add to this deal.
  • Charlie Blackmon: Blackmon is owed $40MM between this year and next and is beloved in Colorado. Still, his value has plummeted and if the Rockies were to ever consider trading him, what better place to send a Georgia boy? The Braves would have to sweeten this deal.
  • Madison Bumgarner- One of my least liked players in the MLB, but if he could make Ozuna in a Braves uniform end, I’d be down. Bumgarner is owed about $48MM for the rest of his contract so Braves would have to add a good bit to make this deal.
  • Jon Gray: I’ve always liked Gray and thought he’d be a good pitcher in Atlanta. He’s about a 4 ERA guy in Texas and that would suit the Braves well. The $ would be about even, so the Braves would have to sweeten the deal, a lot.


  • The Votto deal doesn’t make sense. Not sure why I typed it. It would be fun, but the Reds front office cannot afford to lose their face.
  • The Cubs deal could be something to get behind. Heyward would likely be cut after the 2022 season, but could be a part of the team during another division/World Series run. I could see something like Kyle Muller and Marcell Ozuna for Jason Heyward and Ian Happ.
  • Like the Votto deal, Blackmon is the face of the Rockies. However, the Braves could be the one place that Blackmon could get behind. The Rockies always need pitching and the Braves have it in the farm.
  • The Diamondbacks don’t need Bumgarner. They need pitching prospects. The Braves could unclog the pipeline a bit and send them a few.
  • The Rangers likely won’t deal Gray, but if they were offered a big Texan like Kyle Muller and a few other SPs, they could be enticed.

What’s realistic? Likely none of them. The one that feels most doable is the Cubs trade, followed closely by the Diamondbacks deal. Thoughts?

Author: Ryan Cothran

Ryan is the site editor and manager of Braves Journal. Follow him on Twitter.

38 thoughts on “Ozuna than Later, Can Braves Dump Marcell?”

  1. Holy smokes. Casey Close has sued Doug Gottlieb for defamation over this tweet!

  2. I can’t believe that this board has been making LOTR references w/r to Strider since last September and I had to read the comments in the FanGraphs article AAR linked in the last thread before thinking about Strider as a (Texas) Ranger.

    Without thinking seriously about the values involved, here’s a trade of expensive contracts and lots of quality: Ozuna and Strider for Trout. Who hangs up first? Strider looks great now, but this might be selling high on him, and pitchers are always getting hurt and losing value. Trout is still great, but declining, and 8 more years after this one at $37m is a lot for AA even after subtracting Ozuna’s $45m. Acuna/Harris/Trout would be a passable outfield for several years, though.

  3. That’s a good comparison to Kong.

    Heyward seems like to only scenario that’s reasonably attractive if I were the other GM. And The Mime seems like a perfect Cub (Kong had his best year with the Cubs). I’d take that deal 1:1. Heyward can play all around the OF, at least.

  4. How about Joey Gallo as a change of scenery guy? Ozuna belongs on the Yankees and they are dying to get rid of Gallo. Gallo’s a decent fielder and a lefty and his value is as low as it could go right now. Maybe the Yankees have to sweeten the deal.

    Gallo is only 28 so he may be the lefthanded Duvall that gets it together for a couple of more good years. Remember how bad Duvall was in 2018.

    Gallo’s best comps include Duvall, Joc, and ………….. Dave Kingman.

    He was good in Texas last year and bad in the Bronx this year and last year.

  5. Serious teams don’t trade bad players for bad players. Serious teams dump bad players and replace them with better players.

  6. I hate the shift … and if Wright don’t get ball down.. he won’t last 3 innings

  7. Shifting to get possibly one out instead of 2 is about the most illogical thing to do

  8. Never happen.

    Gallo only makes $10M and he’s a free agent after this year. If the Yanks can’t trade him, they’ll just DFA him, if nec. Gallo won’t be getting anywhere near their playoff roster.

    As for Ozuna, the last thing the Yanks need is another DH.

  9. Harris is in his 1st major league slump .. we will see how long it last .. Annabel coming back as Cy Young .. frustrating hitting against him .. hit ball where pitched ..

  10. Ozuna really is Dan Ugga 2.0. Put me down for his departure at some point early in the ’23 season. Of all the trade scenarios, maybe the Bumgarner one could happen. I’d want a pitcher for Ozuna, not another outfielder.

  11. Another truly impressive AB from Harris there…

    FWIW, gun to my head, I’d take Bumgarner in those trade scenarios.

  12. Cano is done .. Arcia if only for defense. . Cano is slower thar my 88 year old Dad

  13. Day-am….

    Bad slide, but never thought Harris had a chance to throw him out.

    This game’s like a Harris highlight reel so far.

  14. It was a bad slide because I don’t think he was thinking he’d need to slide until very late. He thought it was a gimme, like basically everyone else present or watching.

  15. MH2 didn’t even crow hop on that throw. Unreal!

    Baseball Ops got this one right. He didn’t need no AAA.

  16. That run was on Cano’s lack of range. Arcia makes that play without leaving his feet.

  17. Arcia makes it all day … we have a idiot mgr .. aint got sense to put him in for defense ….

  18. Chip with the same tired fetish spending a whole half inning wishing guys didn’t throw so hard and instead pitched to contact more. (Brought on by a Tyler Clippard appearance)

  19. We are going to rue the decision to have Cano in on defense in the 8th. That’s the run that hurt us

  20. That was tougher than it should’ve been. I can agree with the thinking that Cano should be pulled for Arcia late. But Snit isn’t an idiot.

    On a brighter note, that’s 11-wins now for Wright. I hope he can replicate that performance in the 2nd half. His development has really solidified the rotation.

  21. Can we back up a dump truck full of money outside Michael Harris’s house, please?

  22. Liberty can afford to release Ozuna. Doesn’t hurt to try to get something back first, but let’s not fool ourselves into thinking Ozuna’s contract is keeping any other moves from happening.

  23. Most of these deals end up with getting little or nothing in return. I wouldn’t include a prospect like Muller just to subtract Ozuna. Other options include DFA/Release, or just let him sit and DH him if there is a positive matchup somewhere. It’s tough to eat a contract like Ozuna’s. Sometimes it’s the best option.

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