Braves Signing Marcell Ozuna is Perfect Consolation Prize After Missing Out on Josh Donaldson

Marcell Ozuna
Marcell Ozuna was a great pickup for the Braves after losing the chance to re-sign Donaldson. | Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Atlanta Braves were hoping to re-sign star player and former MVP Josh Donaldson to a four-year contract during the MLB offseason. The slugger hit 37 home runs and knocked in 94 RBI this past year for the NL East champs.

However, Donaldson left in free agency to sign with the Minnesota Twins in a shocking move. The Braves, in return, picked up arguably the best player still left on the free agent market, Marcell Ozuna, on a safe one-year, $18 million contract.

Ozuna is a two-time All Star (2016 and 2017), and at just 29 years old, can still produce solid numbers, averaging 28 HR and 94 RBI over the past four seasons.

However, the loss of Donaldson will still sting for Atlanta, and will put more pressure on Austin Riley to perform at the hot corner. Ozuna will likely slot in at left field, joining an outfield consisting of Nick Markakis and Ronald Acuña Jr.

Losing Donaldson will no doubt be a blow to the Braves, but the smart signing of Ozuna should help soften the loss and keep Brian Snitker's club in World Series contention this year.