Report: Miami Marlins’ Players Upset Marcell Ozuna Still in Triple-A


It’s getting ugly in Miami for the Miami Marlins. It seems like the players, just like fans, are starting to get fed up with the team’s act.

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After the way the team handled the Mat Latos and Michael Morse trade, an unnamed player blurted this out to the Palm Beach Post’s Jason Lieser.

Its understandable the players are not happy with how the trade went down. We first learned word of a potential trade yesterday at 11:30 AM eastern time. First baseman Michael Morse said he had not heard anything about a deal until today, even when he had a confusing pinch hit appearance in the 9th inning.

"“From what people were saying, I didn’t even think I’d be eligible to hit,” said Morse, who showed no sign of amusement. “I still haven’t been told anything. I’m trying to look at my phone right now and see what’s going on, and hopefully one of these guys will come down and tell me something.”"

The players were reportedly playing circus music during the game in the clubhouse, which perfectly resembles what the Miami Marlins franchise has become at this point.

Not only did the team botch the trade, but they are currently botching their demotion of Marcell Ozuna. Ozuna is represented by agent Scott Boras and Boras is not happy with the team’s treatment of their center fielder, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

"“This is not what Marlins fans deserve. Fans deserve the best team,” Boras said. “The integrity of the game deserves the best players playing in the big leagues. And it’s not prudent to provide winning baseball at the Major League level when your best talent is being restrained in the minor leagues."

Boras has every reason to be angry. The Miami Marlins are potentially costing his client a ton of money. Boras has tried to call Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria to talk to him about the situation, but said Loria’s not returned his calls, once.

"Boras, who also represents Marlins star Jose Fernandez, said he has attempted to call Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria “on numerous occasions” to discuss it and “have yet to hear back from him.”"

It’s interesting to remember Jose Fernandez is also represented by the same agent, which could definitely impact the teams chances of signing either player long-term, or even any outside free agent represented by Boras in the future.

The Miami Marlins have already been on thin ice with potential free agents after the debacle that was the 2012 season, when they broke promises to Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle about trading them.

Marlins players have also vented their frustration with Ozuna being in the minors, hurting the teams chances to win ball games, according to Boras. He says he gets calls from Marlins players all the time.

"“Major league players on the club are very upset about this issue,” Boras said. “They’ve approached the manager on several occasions. The organization is not applying its best talent to try to win. [Manager] Dan Jennings has told players on the team he wants him hitting No. 4 in the lineup.”Boras, who also represents Marlins star Jose Fernandez, said he has attempted to call Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria “on numerous occasions” to discuss it and “have yet to hear back from him.”Boras added: “Every major league player wants a team to make the best efforts toward winning. When you lose games 1-0, I get a lot of phones calls from players on the team.”"

This is an extremely bad look for the franchise, as they continue to be the butt of jokes around the major leagues at all times.

Ozuna, who owns a .249/.301/.337 slash line with a 76 wRC+, has been far from the worst player on the Marlins. His 0.4 fWAR is almost a full win better than Ichiro Suzuki (-0.7). Suzuki has received the majority of the playing time Ozuna has lost, with him being in Triple-A.

As Boras pointed out to Jackson, the Marlins have been inconsistent with how they handle struggling young players.

"Boras pointed out that when Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich — who signed a seven-year, $49 million contract in March — “hit .160 for his first 100 at bats, like most major league players who are established, they let him work through it. They sent Marcell down when he was hitting [.249] and lifetime average of [.263]. That’s something many clubs don’t do…. [Pirates left fielder] Starling Marte hit .170 in 70 at bats and they let him work through that.”"

As Jackson notes, Yelich signed an extension over the off-season, but Ozuna didn’t. The Marlins showed interest in an extension for both Ozuna and Fernandez, but both preferred to try and get to free agency, as most Boras clients do.

Could the Marlins be punishing Ozuna for not signing an extension? I would not put it past this ownership and front office group. This same thing would be near damn impossible to do with Jose Fernandez, so the team could be trying to send a message through Ozuna.

It’ll be interesting to see what the Marlins do with Ozuna the next two weeks. He’s been getting trade interest from the Cleveland Indians and the Marlins have scouted Indian pitching, so there could be fire to the Ozuna trade situation.

The projected cut off date for Ozuna to be denied arbitration after the season is reportedly August 8th. It’ll be interesting to see if he’s in the majors before then.

However, at the end of the day, we have to realize the Miami Marlins have a plan. We may not be able to understand it though, especially if we’re not educated enough, as president Michael Hill hopes we are.

The Miami Marlins continue to dig themselves into a deeper and deeper hole each time they make a roster move. Now they are trying to make things worse by talking, apparently.

Hill is not endearing himself with fans with a weak roster that is well out of contention at the trade deadline. He’s not making it easier with his comments today. Combine that with David Samson and Jeffrey Loria’s history, this act is getting tiresome in Miami.

The Miami Marlins players are sick of it, the fans are sick of it, hopefully major league baseball gets sick of them and sends them on their way soon.

Baseball is just a circus in Miami until something happens.

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