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Cincinnati Reds have interest in signing Marcell Ozuna in free agency

Marcell Ozuna, Reds

The Cincinnati Reds have expressed interest in signing free-agent outfielder Marcell Ozuna, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

Ozuna is coming off of a 2019 campaign with the St. Louis Cardinals in which he slashed .241/.328/.472 with 29 home runs and 89 RBI over 549 plate appearances.

The 29-year-old originally signed with the Florida Marlins as an amateur free agent back in 2008.

He eventually made his big-league debut in 2013, playing in 70 games and slashing .265/.303/.389 with three long balls and 32 RBI across 291 trips to the dish. The following year, Ozuna became a full-time starter for the Marlins, registering a slash line of .269/.317/.455 with 23 dingers and 85 RBI through 612 plate appearances.

The Dominican spent the first five seasons of his career in Miami, making back-to-back All-Star appearances in 2016 and 2017. His best year to date came in 2017, when he slashed .312/.376/.548 with 37 homers and 124 RBI over 679 trips to the dish. Ozuna also took home a Gold Glove award that season.

That ensuing offseason, the Marlins traded Ozuna to the Cardinals. Unfortunately for the Redbirds, his first year in St. Louis was similar to his earlier seasons in South Beach rather than his breakout 2017 campaign, as he slashed .280/.325/.433 with 23 home runs and 88 RBI across 628 plate appearances.

Ozuna’s defense has also taken a bit of a step back since his time with the Fish.

Because the free-agent market is rather thin for hitters, Ozuna is expected to be one of the most sought-after players this winter. What we do know about Ozuna is that he brings consistent power to the table, and he has been able to stay mostly healthy throughout his career.

The Reds are looking to get back into postseason contention and signing Ozuna could help them towards that goal.