This continues our series covering the biggest remaining offseason questions for the Braves, as we move on to one of the most controversial topics surrounding the team. If you missed any of the previous parts of this series, click the links below.
- Is Matt Olson even the best backup plan for Freddie Freeman?
- Who will be the Opening Day centerfielder?
- Who will round out the starting rotation?
- Could the Braves make a change at shortstop once the lockout ends?
The situation around Marcell Ozuna escalated quickly. While he was on the IL with multiple broken fingers, he was arrested for domestic violence. Not much was said afterward, but eventually, Ozuna was placed on administrative leave, where he would remain for the rest of the season.
Once the legal repercussions were announced, which our very own Jake Gordon was all over, the MLB launched their investigation. Personally, I never thought we would ever see Ozuna again in a Braves uniform at this point, but Major League Baseball’s punishment was soft, essentially clearing him for the start of the 2022 season.
Now, I don’t see any other direction for the Braves to go. Ideally, I’m sure they would love to explore a trade that would rid them of Ozuna’s contract and the public backlash that is sure to come. However, I don’t believe the situation is desperate enough for them to make a poor long-term decision. Attaching prospects in a trade just to rid of Ozuna isn’t something I see the Braves doing, especially since they are already in need of another outfielder as things currently stand.
No matter your view of the situation, the reality is this, there will be plenty of angry fans when they see Ozuna in a Braves uniform to begin the season. Some of those fans will stay resentful forever, but most of it will fizzle out quicker than many will care to admit. Overall, the situation will not affect the Braves’ bottom line, and the team is better with him on the roster, so I fully expect Marcell Ozuna to be in the starting lineup on Opening Day.