The National League East just may have been the most active division this offseason in terms of bolstering teams’ rosters in preparation for the 2021 season.
Notable players such as Josh Bell, Carlos Carrasco, Jon Lester, Francisco Lindor, James McCann, Charlie Morton, Kyle Schwarber, and Drew Smyly, all inked deals with either the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, or Washington Nationals.
Not to mention, the Phillies retained Didi Gregorius and J.T. Realmuto. The Braves also brought back a fellow star on Friday, and in the process cut ties with a former Phillies player from the 2020 season — outfielder Kyle Garlick — by designating him for assignment.
The Braves replace former Phillies outfielder Kyle Garlick with Marcell Ozuna.
The Braves previously claimed Garlick off waivers from the Phillies — along with right-handed reliever Victor Arano — in late January. Garlick had been likewise designated for assignment to make room for Archie Bradley on the Phillies’ 40-man roster.
Fast-forward to now, and the Braves similarly needed room on their 40-man to add fellow outfielder Marcell Ozuna, who re-signed in Atlanta to a four-year, $65 million contract.
Last February, the Phillies acquired Garlick from the eventual World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers for minor-league left-hander Tyler Gilbert. The California native outfielder showed signs of some power in his rookie season with the Dodgers in 2019, slashing .250/.321/.521 with four doubles, three home runs, and six RBI across 30 games and 53 plate appearances.
Donning red pinstripes in 2020, however, Garlick struggled to produce similar numbers — slashing only .136/.174/.182 with a double and three RBI spanning 23 plate appearances.
Ozuna is a clear upgrade from Garlick for the Braves. The two-time All-Star, two-time Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove winner slugged a National League-best 18 home runs and 56 RBI last season, along with having the most total bases (145). Through his eight-season career, he has slashed .276/.335/.466 with 166 home runs and 594 RBI.
Even with the slew of moves made in the division, there appears to be no sign teams are done just yet adding to their rosters. The Phillies are no exception, as they reportedly continue to be interested in pitching depth and bench pieces. Pitchers and catchers are set to have their first spring training workout in less than two weeks.