As we approach the holiday season, the next few weeks are traditionally the busiest of baseball's offseason. Teams like to handle their major business before the holidays (free agents like to sign before then too) so they can focus on arbitration and the margins of their roster in January and February. With that being said, let's take a look at the latest hot stove rumors from Sunday.
Free agent Ozuna signs with new agency
Free agent outfielder Marcell Ozuna has switched agents. CAA is Ozuna's new representation, and the move was announced on Sunday. Ozuna was previously represented by MDR Sports Management. He switched from Scott Boras to MDR in May of 2019.
Ozuna, 30, opted for a one-year deal instead of a multi-year pact last winter. He signed with the Braves for one-year, $18 million. He was not eligible for the qualifying offer this winter after receiving it last year. The fallout from the global pandemic is sure to complicate his search for a bigger, long-term deal. But, his recent numbers speak for themselves and there's sure to be a team out there willing to pay. In fact, there are reportedly at least 10 MLB clubs in on Ozuna this offseason. It has not happened yet, but the universal DH is expected to be put in place again in 2021 and become permanent with the next collective bargaining agreement in 2022. That presumably makes National League clubs more comfortable signing Ozuna long-term.
He hit .338/.431/.636 with 18 home runs in 60 games in 2020. Ozuna also finished atop the National League leaderboard for home runs and RBI. He was just 13 batting average points short of winning the NL Triple Crown this past season.
Former club interested in Happ
The Toronto Blue Jays have joined the sweepstakes for free-agent lefty J.A. Happ, according to MLB Network's Jon Morosi. Happ had two previous stints with Toronto: he pitched for them in 2012-14 and again in 2016-18. The Angels and Rangers are also reported teams considering a run at Happ. The Angels are probably the club in most need of rotation help, but all three clubs could use a veteran arm for added depth to their rotation for the 2021 season. A Happ-Blue Jays reunion would mean that Toronto could sport a three-lefty rotation with Happ joining Hyun Jin-Ryu and Robbie Ray.
Happ's first stint with Toronto was the result of a 10-player trade he was a part of in 2012. In 2015, Happ signed with Toronto as a free agent. The Blue Jays later sent Happ to the Yankees at the 2018 trade deadline, for Brandon Drury and Billy McKinney.
Happ, 38, made nine starts in 2020 for the New York Yankees. He finished the abbreviated season with a 3.47 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 42:15 K:BB ratio across 49 1/3 innings.