The black hole that is Marcell Ozuna got even darker this morning as he was arrested for driving under the influence at 4:39 a.m. after the Braves’ big win over the Mets. For a few weeks I was adamant that Marcell Ozuna wouldn’t make it through the season. From a strictly performance point of view, he brings nothing to the team. But this arrest should be the icing on the cake.
The only reason Ozuna has dragged on for so long is because of his contract. After the 2020 season, the Braves signed him to a four-year, $65 million contract. They still owe him $41 million, but at this point it’s a sunk cost. There’s no point in letting him continue to negatively affect the team on and off the pitch.
One thing I’ve been asked many times is if the Braves will be able to avoid Ozuna’s contract after his second arrest in the last 18 months. The short answer is no, although contract terminology may make it seem like a possibility.
— Braves Moves and Rumors (@Braves_Rumors) August 19, 2022
I wish the Braves would somehow get out of Ozuna’s albatross, but we’re not so lucky. Major League Baseball has made it nearly impossible to void player contracts. They are fully guaranteed, and it would take an astonishing amount of misconduct for a player not to receive their full salary.
Ozuna’s first arrest was reduced to a misdemeanor, and while I don’t condone drunk driving, the Braves aren’t taking the remaining $41 million off his contract because he failed to call a Uber. Maybe if more issues arise things change, but for now the Braves are still responsible for every penny owed to Marcell Ozuna.
Photo David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire