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Freddie Freeman is rightly the Braves’ biggest looming offseason question, but it’s not the only choice Atlanta must make after the lockout.
The Braves and Freeman are fighting over what amounts to an extra season and about $30 million. Eventually, that issue should be resolved, but because we’re in a work stoppage it’s pretty much the only issue to discuss.
Freeman is one of the best players in baseball, and it’s imperative for the Braves to bring him back. But he’s not the only item on the Braves’ list this offseason.
Outfielder Marcell Ozuna has been cleared to make a return to the Braves at the start of next season. Should they allow him back, or try to find a way out?
Braves: What should Atlanta do with Marcell Ozuna?
Ozuna signed a four-year, $65 million contract last offseason, before he was accused of domestic assault and was caught on camera choking his partner. Despite all of that, Ozuna eventually entered a rehabilitation program and will be welcomed back to MLB, but not with open arms.
His talent is immense, and were Ozuna not a controversial player due to the charges against him, bringing him back wouldn’t be a question. The outfielder is just 31 years old. He’s in the later years of his prime.
Unfortunately for the Braves, Ozuna doesn’t have an easy out in his contract. If they could’ve cut him, it’s more than likely they would have already. So, the only answer for now is to play the man.
The Braves outfield is crowded moving forward, and Alex Anthopoulos would be wise to keep most of those bodies around given the uncertainty surrounding Ozuna. He won’t be traded at this juncture, either, given the toxicity surrounding him.