ATLANTA - The Atlanta Braves are bringing back Marcell Ozuna, signing the slugger to a $65 million, four-year contract.
The Braves announced the deal for the 2020 NL home run and RBI leader on Friday night, less than two weeks before pitchers and catchers are set to report for spring training. The deal includes a fifth-year club option for $16 million with a $1 million buyout.
The 30-year-old Ozuna signed an $18 million, one-year free agent deal with Atlanta last year, and then put together his best offensive season during the pandemic-shortened campaign. He batted .338 with 18 homers and 56 RBIs, narrowly missing out on a Triple Crown. He started all 60 games, posting a career-best 1.067 OPS and finishing sixth in NL MVP voting.
Ozuna made 39 of those starts as Atlanta's designated hitter after the NL adopted the DH as part of baseball's health and safety protocols for playing through the pandemic.
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.
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