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According to some Atlanta Braves rumors after the MLB trade deadline, the team came close to dealing Marcell Ozuna to a division rival.
Atlanta Braves rumors don’t have to end with the passing of the MLB trade deadline. According to Barry Jackson and Craig Mish of the Miami Herald, the Braves nearly did the right thing with Ozuna and traded him away to the Miami Marlins.
In a deal that would have swapped two seemingly bad contracts, the Braves would have dumped Ozuna and his undesirable .222/.275/.406 slash line (but with 19 home runs) on a division rival.
If it was a straight one-for-one deal, these Braves rumors would have led to Ozuna’s $36 million over the next two seasons — plus a $1 million buyout in 2025 — going to Miami for Avisail Garcia and his longer and slightly heftier payday. The Marlins unwisely signed him to a deal which pays $12 million in each of the first four years with a $5 million buyout in 2026.
Braves rumors: Marcell Ozuna was nearly dumped on the Marlins
The Ozuna deal with Atlanta is aging poorly. His 2021 suspension adds to it from a non-baseball viewpoint. That alone made him an undesirable player for many fans.
Strictly from a vantage point of play on the field, he is also a one-dimensional player only really useful as a power-hitting DH. His pop hasn’t gone away yet, but any sense that he can play defense productively is now gone.
What’s most amazing is that in 2020, he led the National League in home runs and RBI. He did it with a .338/.431/.636 slash line in 267 plate appearances. At first, it looked like Atlanta was right to sign him.
Garcia might not have turned things around if moved to a pennant race, but he is a better defensive player at this point of his career. His best season took place only last year, when he popped 29 home runs for the Milwaukee Brewers while hitting .262/.330/.490.
These Braves rumors could still lead to future talks with the Marlins or maybe even another team. There’s clearly an interest by Atlanta to move on. The key will be finding the right match.