Archive for January, 2022

199: Caught on the Horns of a Delimma

By Kenny Sirmans: aka VOR

Speaking of reality…

IMO, the Freddie Freeman situation is not the most pressing issue this team faces going into 2022. In all honesty, there are ways to address 1B other than Freddie even if we don’t want to admit it. There are answers even if some are not as popular as others. We know that Alex did reach out to Oakland regarding Matt Olson prior to the lockout. That could certainly just be due diligence, but in a lockout world, its big news.

But that’s NOT the team’s most pressing issue.

Marcell Ozuna is.

Ozuna is still owed the balance of the 4 yr / $65M deal he signed with the Braves prior to last season and prior to the domestic issues that turned our big money Free Agent into a team albatross. Yes, I agree that as long as he completes his required services handed down by the court in his particular legal case, he has “paid his debt” and should be able to move on. But it’s really not that simple, is it? It’s just not that black and white. Regardless of his legal status, there will be a cloud that follows him wherever he goes. And that cloud is darker in Atlanta where the deed went down. The wound is fresh here, and this fan doesn’t see it healing very easily especially in a time of #metoo. It’s a personnel decision that is especially difficult for Alex given the annual salary restraints the team faces. It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to understand that the team cannot afford to just eat the remainder of Ozuna’s salary to simply release him. Even if a trade partner could be dug up, it would take a pretty good prospect attached to even pique anyone’s interest, and would also require paying a portion of the remaining $$ amount of his Ozuna’s deal. Basically, the better the prospect, the less the percentage must be paid. But unless Alex has a rabbit up his sleeve, some significant amount will still become dead money.

And thus the great debate. You have to pay the man. Can you overlook it all and just let him earn his paychecks?

For those keeping up with the baseball side of it, Ozuna appears to be back on top of his game. His Dominican Winter League team just won their league championship and Ozuna was a big part of their success. In fact, he was the championship series MVP. MLBTR: In the final game, he was 2-3 with a 3-run homer and a walk. Overall during the series he hit .333 with 3 home runs, 6 runs scored, and 8 RBI as part of his Series Finale MVP performance. And over 21 regular season games, he slashed .317/.389/.519 with 4 HR, 10 BBs, and 13 Ks. There is nothing wrong with his bat.

So just when you start to think, maybe if he can quietly step back into the lineup and keep his nose clean, we can make it work for 3 more years, this pops up…

Yes, I hope that Alex can take care of Freddie Freeman as soon as this lockout crap is over. But that will be a walk in the park compared to solving the Marcell Ozuna puzzle. This one has no good answers. None.



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