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The Daily Chop: Possible Ozuna destinations starting to come into focus

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We have reached the pure speculation without any actual news part of the program.

League Championship - Atlanta Braves v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Seven Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Okay look....we get it. I know I get asked about this literally every single day and I know a lot of others here at TC have similar experiences. Everyone wants to know whether the DH is going to be in the National League next year and, more importantly, will the Braves be able to re-sign Marcell Ozuna?

The short answer is that no one knows and that is because there are a lot of complicating factors.

First, lets consider that Ozuna did just change agents and while his new agency doesn’t immediately raise red flags like if he all of a sudden became a Scott Boras client, that could cause a change in the tenor of negotiations. The rumor was that the Braves were going to give Ozuna an offer in December. That may or may not have happened, but a certain delay could be understood based solely on the situation surrounding his representation.

Another factor is that Ozuna has taken his time with signing before. The Braves signed him in late January last offseason and he could simply be taking his time again to be sure he is taking the best offer. He is certainly generating a decent amount of interest around the league even without the DH issue settled with multiple teams being mentioned as possible landing spots not named the Atlanta Braves.

Basically, the best answer we have is that the Braves are almost certainly interested in bringing back Ozuna, but it may be a while before we find out if that is going to happen as factors outside of their control (the fate of the DH, team budgets, the season starting on time, etc.) in addition to those that are in their control play out.

MLB News

In non-Braves related news, the Rangers went international in their search for rotation help as they signed Kohei Arihara to a two year deal. It sounds like the Rangers have been working on making this deal happen for a while and once they came to terms on the posting fee, it was all about convincing Arihara that Texas was the place to be. Don’t necessarily expect Kohei to be an All-Star, but he should make the Rangers’ rotation deeper and better which is hard to argue with at the the price Texas signed him at.

It has also been a rough week for Pirates fans. Not only did they see Josh Bell shipped out for a less than great return just a couple days ago, but now Gregory Polanco, who admittedly was quite bad in 2020, broke his wrist in winter ball. All indicators are that he will be ready to go again during Spring Training, but this is a less than ideal development for a team that is going to need contributions from a lot of different places to avoid being one of the worst teams in the league next season.