Free agent OF Ozuna, Braves reach $18 million, 1-year deal

Sports

St. Louis Cardinals’ Marcell Ozuna (23) celebrates his two-run double against the Atlanta Braves in the ninth inning during Game 1 of a best-of-five National League Division Series, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ATLANTA (AP) — Free agent outfielder Marcell Ozuna and the Atlanta Braves reached an $18 million, one-year deal Tuesday that puts him on the team he helped beat in the playoffs last October.

Ozuna hit .429 with two home runs for the St. Louis Cardinals in their five-game win over the Braves in the NL Division Series.

The 29-year-old Ozuna hit .241 with 29 home runs and 89 RBIs last season. His low batting average was something on 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 All-Star who spent his first five seasons with the 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 ace Felix Hernández to a minor league with an invite to big league spring training.

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