Atlanta Braves outfielder/designated hitter Marcell Ozuna was arrested early Friday morning for a DUI. It's the latest legal trouble for Ozuna, who was facing aggravated assault by strangulation charges for choking his wife and slamming her against a wall in May of 2021. The charges were eventually dropped and Ozuna returned to the Braves after a 20-game suspension- which was laughable- by the league.
Jon Heyman of the New York Post reports that Ozuna is out of jail and had met with Braves manager Brian Snitker and general manager Alex Anthopoulos. The two may give Ozuna another chance.
Here's why the Braves should cut the cord with Marcell Ozuna for good.
Why The Braves Must Cut Marcell Ozuna After Latest Arrest
2. Marcell Ozuna isn't the same player he once was
The fact of the matter is, there shouldn't be any more reasons needed to cut Marcell Ozuna than the fact that he has serious off-field problems. But if the sports world has learned anything from the Cleveland Browns' Deshaun Watson debacle, it's that teams are willing to look past off-field issues if the on-field talent is good enough.
For a time, Ozuna's on-field talent was good enough. No longer. The Braves slugger has hit over .300 in a season twice. Over the last two years, he's hit .214 in 155 games played. He's managed just a .653 OPS in 2021 and 2022 after posting marks above .800 in three of the four seasons prior to that.
At 31 years old, Ozuna's best days are behind him. Including 2022, he's on the books for the next three seasons at an average annual salary of $16 million.
In short, it will hurt to part ways with the two-time All-Star. Not as much as it will hurt to look at Ozuna's OPS in three years. Or at the Braves reputation if they somehow give a player who has proven to have serious off-field problems a third chance.
1. Marcell Ozuna has obvious off-field problems
This should be obvious to anyone who has followed his career. Marcell Ozuna has a problem with the law. Physically putting his hands on his wife the way he allegedly did should have been enough for an even lengthier suspension from the MLB.
If he truly did what police, who say he threatened to kill his wife, say he did, then there should have been no place in baseball for him. Quite frankly, it's a miracle the Braves found room on their roster for Ozuna after last year's incident.
Clearly, they believed in second chances. Well, 2022 was a second chance for the slugger. It was an opportunity for him to prove that he has put his off-field problems behind him.
Ozuna did the opposite. People can change, yes. People can redeem themselves when given another chance.
That's not what Ozuna has done. He's done the opposite. After he served his suspension, Ozuna apologized. He acted as one would when they've realized the error of their ways and learned from it.
Friday's actions confirm that Ozuna hasn't learned anything. And the Braves should be done with him because of that.