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Sports News:
Braves bring back Ozuna on $65 million, 4-year deal

ATLANTA (AP) – The Atlanta Braves are bringing back Marcell Ozuna, signing the slugger to a $65 million, four-year contract.

The Braves introduced the deal for the 2020 National League residence run and RBI chief on Friday night time, lower than two weeks earlier than pitchers and catchers are set to report for spring coaching. The deal features a fifth-year membership possibility for $16 million with a $1 million buyout.

The Braves made the key dedication to Ozuna regardless of having no assurance there might be a delegated hitter within the NL in 2021.

Ozuna‘s value to the team, in the clubhouse and as lineup protection for 2020 NL MVP Freddie Freeman, was crucial to the team’s hopes of profitable a fourth straight NL East title and making one other run for the World Series.

The 30-year-old Ozuna signed an $18 million, one-year free agent deal with Atlanta final yr, after which put collectively his finest offensive season in the course of the pandemic-shortened marketing campaign. He batted .338 with 18 homers and 56 RBIs, narrowly lacking out on a Triple Crown. He began all 60 video games, posting a career-best 1.067 OPS and ending sixth in NL MVP voting.

“My power came because I’m healthy,” Ozuna mentioned after the season. “… I just came ready and give my best to my teammates and let’s go play.”

Ozuna was revered and favored by teammates, together with Ronald Acuña Jr. and Ozzie Albies.

“I’m a guy that’s got a couple years in the big leagues and they give much respect to me and I give respect to them,” Ozuna mentioned. “We have respect together. We have success. It’s not because they are Latin guys. It’s because they are my teammates.”

Ozuna would open the season as Atlanta‘s projected starter in left subject if the DH is just not reinstated.

The NL adopted the DH final yr as a part of baseball’s well being and security protocols for enjoying via the pandemic. Ozuna made 39 starts as Atlanta’s primary DH.

Major League Baseball proposed renewing the universal DH in talks with the players association last week, but the union rejected the proposal, which also would have delayed the start of the regular season and expanded the postseason field.

With Ozuna locked in, Atlanta will return essentially the same lineup that finished second in the majors with 348 runs last year – one behind the World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers. The Braves have also added to the rotation by signing veterans Charlie Morton and Drew Smyly.

Smyly, a left-hander, signed a one-year, $11 million deal. Morton, a right-hander, signed for one year at $15 million.

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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