St. Louis Cardinals: Marcell Ozuna isn’t making many friends in ATL

NORTH PORT, FL- FEBRUARY 25: Marcell Ozuna #20 of the Atlanta Braves looks on during a spring training game against the Minnesota Twins on February 25, 2020 at CoolToday Park in North Port, Florida. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
NORTH PORT, FL- FEBRUARY 25: Marcell Ozuna #20 of the Atlanta Braves looks on during a spring training game against the Minnesota Twins on February 25, 2020 at CoolToday Park in North Port, Florida. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /
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Marcell Ozuna is now a member of the Braves but he recently made comments about the St. Louis Cardinals that were surprising. What’d he say and why is it so surprising?

The St. Louis Cardinals were very clear from about June of last season what their plans were going to be in regards to their then-left fielder, Marcell Ozuna. Even when Ozuna repeatedly said that he wanted to stay in St. Louis, the Cardinals refused to comment.

When the offseason came, the Cardinals extended the left fielder the $17.8M qualifying offer, and while they were reportedly in talks with Ozuna about a multiyear deal, nothing materialized and the Cardinals stuck to their guns and didn’t formally offer Ozuna anything more than the qualifying offer.

Ozuna then decided to bet on himself and sign a one-year, $18M deal with the Atlanta Braves after reportedly turning down three years and $60M from the NL Central rival Cincinnati Reds. While Ozuna is getting acclimated to his new team (who he’s familiar with from his time with the Marlins) the St. Louis Post Dispatch recorded some very interesting comments from Ozuna this week when the Cardinals played the Braves.

In a brief aside, imagine a situation where you and your girlfriend decide to go separate ways after an ultimatum. It was relatively mutual and both of you were fine with it, but you secretly wish you would’ve stayed together. Then, you start dating a similar girl and in front of her, just start talking to your ex-girlfriend’s friends about how much you wish you would’ve stayed together.

How would the new girlfriend feel? In my limited life experiences, I would think it would go very poorly.

So, how do you think it’s going over in Atlanta when Ozuna casually mentioned to Derrick Goold of the Post Dispatch that, “If I knew before it was going to happen like this, I would have taken it.”

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Bold move, Cotton. A very bold thing to say when you are sitting in the clubhouse of the team you just signed with.

As Matthew Browning of Tomahawk Take mentions, there seems to be an elephant in the room now with Ozuna. If you were a member of the Atlanta Braves, or just a fan even, how would this make you feel?

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I don’t think I would like Ozuna very much, especially when you pair it with his cool .091 OPS this spring. His 0-10 with a walk and five strikeouts isn’t great and he certainly won’t be that type of player during the season, but it’s clear fans aren’t happy.

Living in Auburn, Alabama, I am surrounded by mostly Braves fans from different parts of Alabama and Georgia. From everyone I’ve talked to about Ozuna, nobody is really happy.

Browning wrote that fans should swallow that anger or distrust in Ozuna because he is there for just one season. He’s also there to replace Josh Donaldson‘s lofty production from a year ago. The Braves can’t afford to be angry at Ozuna because he’s so important to the team in 2020. All that aside, it may not be a fun year in terms of clubhouse gelling for Ozuna in his time in Atlanta.

As awkward as this situation is for Atlanta fans, this is just a compliment to the Cardinals in the end. Ozuna bet on himself by taking the one year deal for 2020 and it may backfire on him if he can’t get comfortable in his new clubhouse.

Spring training standouts after one week of games. dark. Next

It’s odd seeing Ozuna in a Braves jersey, but the Cardinals will face off against their NLDS opponents seven times in 2020, all within a two-week span in May. Ozuna returned to the neon arm sleeve, let’s see how well it works out for him. I wish him the best, but in hindsight these comments may have smarter to leave unsaid.

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