Ever since he kept blasting home runs onto Lansdowne Street when the Atlanta Braves came to Fenway Park earlier this year, there’s been curiosity if Marcell Ozuna would end up with the Boston Red Sox.
One of the game’s premier sluggers, Ozuna is a free agent this winter after a monster campaign with the Braves. There’s not an easy fit for him on the Red Sox, largely because of his lackluster glove and the fact that the designated hitter role is occupied by J.D. Martinez. The hypothetical, however, nevertheless is enticing.
In a piece published Thursday, ESPN’s Dave Schoenfield predicted who would sign where this offseason based on which marquee free agent inks a deal first. Under his scenario in which Trevor Bauer signs first and goes to the New York Mets, Schoenfield has George Springer landing with the Washington Nationals, D.J. LeMahieu staying with the Yankees, J.T. Realmuto signing to the Toronto Blue Jays and Ozuna joining the Red Sox.
“It’s not that Ozuna can’t play left field, but this is why he really needs the DH rule to be added,” Schoenfield wrote. “Don’t rule out a return to the Braves even without the universal DH, but maybe the Red Sox fit here, even with Martinez signed for two more seasons. Ozuna can fake left field for a couple of seasons (especially in left field, a la Manny Ramirez), with Alex Verdugo and a hopefully healthy Andrew Benintendi manning the other two outfield spots. If it’s a long-term contract, Ozuna moves to DH after 2022. Signing Ozuna doesn’t feel like a Chaim Bloom move, but if you’re buying his 2020 level he could put up some numbers mashing home runs over the Green Monster.”
Ozuna’s offensive upside is too promising to ignore, but we’ll see if Bloom can keep the two-time All-Star out of his head enough to avoid going after the 30-year-old — who is tight with Eduardo Rodriguez, by the way.