Braves interested in Ozuna return, Freeman extension
Ozuna is a free agent, while Freeman's contract expires at the end of 2021.
"Marcell was amazing for us. He was awesome. I'd love to have him back," Braves president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos said Tuesday, according to MLB.com's Mark Bowman.
"I certainly plan on having discussions. But just a day after we got back, there is uncertainty in so many areas. I'm not trying to be cryptic or to foreshadow. We're going to have to work hard to get as many answers as we can from a revenue standpoint, a (designated hitter) standpoint, all of those things. But there's no doubt he was tremendous for us."
The 29-year-old Ozuna led the NL in home runs and RBIs after signing a one-year, $18-million deal with the Braves during the previous offseason. He's set for a lucrative payday in free agency, even with team spending potentially affected by revenue losses associated with the coronavirus pandemic.
Freeman is considered an NL MVP favorite after an incredible campaign, which included a .341/.462/.640 slash line with 13 home runs, 23 doubles, and 53 RBIs in 60 games.
Anthopoulos mentioned the possibility of extending the longtime Braves first baseman, who said in March 2019 that he never wanted "to put on another uniform."
"He's someone we plan on and expect to have as a Brave for a long time," the Braves executive said. "I know he plans on that as well. When that time comes, hopefully, it will be the first time you hear about it. Like with any contract, we're going to work real hard to keep that quiet, because we don't want daily questions of the players, manager, and coaches. It just makes it hard to get deals done. He's a key part of this organization."
Freeman signed an extension with the Braves in 2014, when he inked an eight-year, $135-million deal.
The Braves were one win away from reaching their first World Series since 1999 before recently being eliminated in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series by the Los Angeles Dodgers.