It’s mostly of historical interest at this point, but the Reds’ pursuit of Marcell Ozuna was perhaps more spirited than was known at the time. The Cincinnati club offered him a three-year, $50MM contract, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network (Twitter link).
Though it is somewhat unusual for a player to turn down a similar annual salary over a longer term for one on a shorter term, that’s just what Ozuna did. He picked the Braves’ offer of one year and $18MM. Whether the Reds also would’ve considered a single-season arrangement isn’t clear.
For Ozuna, this was a calculated gamble — not unlike the one he took when he spurned the Marlins’ interest in an extension way back when. He’s still just 29 years of age and has shown rather an impressive offensive ceiling (143 wRC+ in 2017).
If Ozuna can turn in another campaign along those lines, he might well earn a much larger contract. Even if not, another solid effort could allow him to take down something close to or even in excess of…