The Dodgers are reportedly pursuing free agent slugger Marcell Ozuna.
As expected, the Los Angeles Dodgers haven’t let the slow-moving market prevent them from making a splash so far this offseason, as they’ve made marquee bullpen additions in the form of right-handers Blake Treinen and Tommy Kahnle, among others.
The latest rumors surrounding free agent closer Brad Hand indicate that the club isn’t finished adding relievers. As intriguing as having a lights out bullpen is, however, fans are starting to get antsy in that they would like other areas of need to be addressed.
If the recent comments from president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman told us anything, it’s that the Dodgers are inclined to add a right-handed hitting position player to better balance their lefty-dominated lineup. That search has mostly centered around re-signing Justin Turner or poaching DJ Lemahieu from the Yankees.
However, according to a new report, the Dodgers have their sights set on slugger Marcell Ozuna as a potential designated hitting option as the rule for 2021 hangs in the balance.
Ozuna is widely regarded as one of the worst defensive outfielders in the league, so the Dodgers’ probably won’t go all-out in their pursuit of him until the universal designated hitter is imposed. As long as that happens — insider Ken Rosenthal recently disclosed that he believes an agreement will be reached between league owners and the players’ association — we’d love this move for LA if it came to fruition.
For starters, Ozuna was an absolute juggernaut at the plate for the Braves last season playing on a one-year contract. He led the league in plate appearances (267), home runs (18), RBI (56) and total bases (145), while hitting .338 with an astounding 1.067 OPS en route to finishing sixth in NL MVP voting.
Ozuna can be relied on to produce anywhere from second to sixth spot in the batting order, which makes him a perfect fit for the Dodgers and their loaded lineup. What he lacks in defensive prowess he more than makes up for with his bat and we would make the case that he’s the most talented right-handed slugger available this side of LeMahieu.
Feel free to educate us on the potential downsides of signing Ozuna, because we’re having trouble coming up with one.