Earlier this week, staff writer Dillon Murrell explored the idea of the Miami Marlins making a run at Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, who has fallen out of favor with teammates in L.A. Dillon created a package for Puig, built around center fielder Marcell Ozuna.
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At the time of the post, Dillon did not feel the Miami Marlins would move Ozuna at this point, as his trade value is at its lowest point with his struggles this season.
While the idea of trading Ozuna sounds ridiculous, it’s something the Miami Marlins front office is reportedly “very much open to,” according to Buster Olney of ESPN (Insider Subscription Required).
"5. The Marlins are very much open to the idea of moving outfielder Marcell Ozuna, who turned down overtures from the team in spring training about a long-term deal."
It’s a well-known fact the Marlins attempted to sign Ozuna, like fellow outfielder Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich, to extensions this off-season. Stanton’s contract was the massive deal of the off-season, while Yelich signed a team friendly deal for the next seven seasons.
Alas, with super agent handling Ozuna’s contract talks, the Marlins never really had a shot to sign Ozuna to an extension. Boras usually prefers his clients to take teams year-to-year, and then hit the open market to get as big of a contract as possible.
In his second full-season in the big leagues, Marcell Ozuna has had a rough go of things in 2015. He owns a .249/.301/.337 slash line with a 76 wRC+ this season. His ISO of .088 is the second worst mark among Marlins regulars, ahead of only the slash hitting Dee Gordon.
After a pro-longed slump, the Marlins demoted Ozuna to Triple-A on July 5th. Since his demotion, Ozuna owns a .348/.388/.587 slash line with a 160 wRC+ in New Orleans. He has proven he does not have much to work on in Triple-A.
This makes it a bit surprising the team has not recalled Ozuna to this point, especially with the offense sputtering as it has all season long. Some may point to Cole Gillespie‘s success as a reason for keeping Ozuna down, but Gillespie is a 31-year old journeyman that has no future in Miami. Ozuna should.
Unless of course, like Heyman said, the team is open to moving him, even with his trade value at its lowest point.
I’m not totally against the idea of trading Ozuna, however. Besides the Marlins big 3 of Jose Fernandez, Giancarlo Stanton, and Christian Yelich, he holds the most trade value. He could bring in a #2 or #3 pitcher the Miami Marlins rotation will surely need in 2016, as they try to piece together a playoff run.
However, I believe the team would be best suited to make any sort of trade involving Ozuna this off-season, giving him time to bounce back the rest of the season and rebuild his trade value. If he can regain his power stroke from a season ago, 23 home runs and a .186 ISO, his value would sky-rocket again.
The New York Mets, with their abundance of young starting pitching, may actually be the best partner for the Marlins this off-season to explore Ozuna trade talks with.
What the Miami Marlins do with Marcell Ozuna over the next 8 days is something to keep an eye on, even if it is very unlikely they move him.
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