I never really considered outfielder Marcell Ozuna as a realistic fit for the Mets this offseason, but with Robinson Cano’s suspension, it makes a heck of a lot more sense to happen now than it did at any other point of the offseason. I debated internally whether Ozuna or infielder DJ Lemahieu should be a bigger priority for the Mets with the loss of Cano and ultimately settled on Ozuna. I believe sliding Jeff McNeil back to his natural position at second base would benefit the Mets more in the long run and Ozuna could provide the Mets with a bit more flexibility in the starting lineup.
The 30-year old Ozuna is a right-handed power bat that the Mets could certainly use in their left-handed dominant lineup. Ozuna also could provide the Mets the majority of his at-bats in the designated hitter position, as well as play left field part-time, where the Mets have been using a combination of Dominic Smith, Jeff McNeil, and J.D. Davis over the past couple of seasons.
While Ozuna is not known for his defensive prowess, you would figure the Amazins would have a stronger defensive outfield with the addition of George Springer in center field that could allow the flexibility for a part-time below average outfielder in a corner spot.
Since entering the league in 2013, Ozuna has established himself as a lethal right-handed hitter with the Miami Marlins, the St. Louis Cardinals, and the Atlanta Braves last season. In 2020 Ozuna played a vital role in the Braves regular-season success as he hit .338 with 18 home runs and 56 RBI’s to go along with an insane 1.067 OPS.
It’s also notable that the “Big Bear” has had plenty of success against the Mets and in New York throughout his career. In 100 games against the Mets, Ozuna carries a career .285 batting average with 11 home runs and 57 RBI’s. His success against the Mets certainly translates at Citi Field, as Ozuna holds a .295 career average with six home runs and 21 RBI’s in 51 games in the big apple.
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The Mets can certainly weaken a division rival with the signing of Ozuna this offseason, especially with the Braves’ interest in re-signing the 2020 Silver Slugger Award winner. MLB Trade Rumors.com has predicted Ozuna landing a four-year $72 million contract from the Washington Nationals this offseason which is a great reference point in terms of how Ozuna’s market may play out this winter. If the National League moves forward with the Designated Hitter in 2021 as expected, Ozuna could be the organization’s permanent fixture in the DH spot for the next four to five seasons.