There isn’t much for baseball news out there. We’ve hit the slow time of the off-season before free agents start signing.
About all there is out there is that the Rays have DFAed Hunter Renfroe. Renfroe hit 85 home runs over the three seasons before 2020, but he didn’t get on base much. This year he hit .156/.252/.393 in 42 games.
In Craig Calcaterra’s Cup of Coffee newsletter, he mentions that Brandon Martin, the Rays’ first-round pick back in 2011, was sentenced to life for three counts of first-degree murder. He used a bat to kill his father, uncle, and a security system installer, who just happened to be there.
I scarfed this idea from Lone Star Ball. It isn’t the first time I’ve stolen from them. The idea is to go through some of the top free agents, use the contract FanGraphs suggests they will get, and have a poll asking if we would like to sign him for that amount.
Marcell Ozuna is #5 on FanGraph’s and Keith Law’s list of the 50 top free agents.
Craig Edwards suggests Ozuna will get a 4-year, $70 million deal, averaging $17.5 million a year.
I skipped Ozuna before because he doesn’t fill a need for the Jays. He is a corner outfielder, and we have Lourdes and Teoscar. But then there could be a trade if we wanted someone like Lindor.
Ozuna took a one-year deal with the Braves for 2020 and hit .338/.431/.636 with 18 home runs. Over the past 4 seasons, he’s had fWAR numbers of 5.0, 2.8, 2.5, and 2.5 in this strike-shortened season.
Keith Law says:
Some of his performance in 2020 isn’t sustainable — a .391 BABIP, for example — but the way he improved on his walk and power rates from his very strong 2019 figures should give teams more confidence that he can be a high-walk, high-power guy who has value even when his batting average dips. He also hit the ball harder than he had in previous years, although his swing doesn’t look substantially different other than maybe keeping his weight back slightly longer. I’m buying Ozuna’s bat, and see his true level somewhere in the middle of 2019’s hard-luck BABIP and 2020’s inflated one, which would make him a 5-win player even with his below-average defense in left.
Defensively, he’s been slightly above average in the corner outfield spots over his career. He did play center from 2014 to 2016, but I wouldn’t want him going back to that spot. But, if Vlad was to go to third (I’m not a fan of that, but it could happen), Rowdy plays first, and Teoscar plays DH, occasionally spelling the other outfielders, Ozuna could play a corner, and we would score a bunch of runs.
Ozuna is 30 now (his birthday was earlier this month), so four years shouldn’t be so long that we suffer through a big-time decline.
He is unlucky to keep the inflated batting average from this year, but he can get on base a bit, and his power isn’t going to disappear.
He would complicate Charlie’s life when making out the batting order. Then again, I don’t care about making his life more comfortable. Adding good players only causes good troubles.
Should the Blue Jays sign Marcell Ozuna if the price is $17.6 million a year for 4 years?
This poll is closed
Probably, but I’m not enthusiastic about it
Probably not, but I wouldn’t hate it
No, absolutely not