Marcell Ozuna has 18-million reasons to smile…
The 29-year-old Dominican professional baseball player and free agent outfielder, nicknamed “The Big Bear,”and the Atlanta Braves have reached an $18 million, one-year deal that puts him on the team he helped beat in the playoffs last year.
Ozuna hit .429 with two home runs for the St. Louis Cardinals in their five-game win over the Braves in the National League Division Series.
Ozuna hit .241 with 29 home runs and 89 RBI last season. His low batting average was something of an oddity because he ranked among the major league leaders in the highest percentage of hard-hit balls, according to Statcast.
Ozuna is a two-time MLB All-Star who spent his first five seasons with the Miami Marlins, then was traded and played two years in St. Louis.
Ozuna’s signing leaves infielder-outfielder Nicholas Castellanos as the last remaining major free agent with spring training set to start in about three weeks.
The two-time NL East champion Braves have been busy this offseason. On Monday, they signed former AL Cy Young Award winner and longtime Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez to a minor league with an invite to big league spring training.