Red Sox Rumors: Could Marcell Ozuna’s Bat Fill a Hole in Boston’s Lineup?
This past summer the Red Sox saw Marcell Ozuna and the Braves come to Fenway Park. The Red Sox are looking for another outfield bat for their lineup with Jackie Bradley Jr. still a free agent. Does Ozuna and his powerful swing make sense for the Red Sox in 2021 and beyond?
Ozuna is one of baseball’s top middle of the order bats available this offseason. He enters free agency after having a massive season with the Braves hitting .338 with 18 home runs, while driving in 56 RBI’s. Ozuna had 77 hits with a slash line of .431/.636/1.067 in his single season in Atlanta.
Marcell Ozuna with the 25th three-homer game in Fenway Park history by a visiting player. He’s the first NL player to do it, joining a list that includes Frank Thomas, Roberto Alomar, Joe Carter, Harmon Killebrew and Lou Gehrig. #Braves #ForTheA
— Cory McCartney (@coryjmccartney) September 2, 2020
The Addition of Ozuna’s Bat to the Lineup
Ozuna’s bat would be a welcomed addition to the Red Sox lineup that already features Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez. While his name is enticing to Red Sox fans, his bat would fit but his glove is another story.
Eduardo Rodriguez was working out with Marcell Ozuna today… 👀 pic.twitter.com/H7ntPnyMpL
— Boston Strong (@BostonStrong_34) November 7, 2020
The Red Sox have a designated hitter in Martinez who is coming off a down year. Martinez also elected to opt-in to the remaining portion of his contract with Boston. Ozuna profiles nicely as someone who could be a designated hitter but since Martinez fills that role the team would need to look to the outfield.
If Boston were to sign Ozuna, the only logical spot for him to play would be left field. Currently the Red Sox left fielder is Andrew Benintendi who is looking to rebound for a dismal season that saw him spend the majority of it on the Injured List.
Ozuna defensive metrics aren’t terrible, but he is trending downward. While last year for most players was an outlier, but has been a regular everyday outfielder. He is a former Gold Glove winner, which he won back in 2017. With most metrics trending downward for Ozuna, he is still a viable option in any outfield because of his bat.
ESPN’s Dave Schoenfield thinks the Red Sox could sign Ozuna and make him their next left fielder. Ozuna would be a short term option in left field for Boston. With only two more seasons remaining on Martinez’s contract, he could transition to designated hitter. In the past, the Red Sox have had outfielders who have played questionable defense, including Manny Ramirez who played left field for Boston during his time at Fenway.
This doesn’t fell like a Chaim Bloom type of move for the Red Sox. The primary focus for the club should be pitching but if they could get a deal for Ozuna it might be something Boston would do.
MLB Trade Rumors predicts that Ozuna will sign a four-year deal for $72 million. He changed agents this offseason, so that figure could swing upward as free agency unfolds.
The Red Sox would need to part with a draft pick if they signed Ozuna. Bloom has been replenishing his farm system for the last year, the potential in losing a draft pick may not seem palatable.
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– Chris Henrique (@ChrisHenrique on Twitter)