After the continued rumors involving the Miami Marlins trading Marcell Ozuna, it appears as though something may be in the works.
It might just be happening, after months of speculation, the Miami Marlins may be parting ways with their slugging outfielder Marcell Ozuna. After members of the front office (including owner Jeffrey Loria) became disenchanted with the Dominican outfielder reports have spread like a wildfire that Ozuna would be shipped out of town. Now, on the night of November 24th, multiple sources report a trade is in the works between the two sides that would send Ozuna to the Pacific Northwest.
From the Marlins perspective, the goal for trading Ozuna was simple, acquire a young and controllable starting pitcher. Luckily, the Mariners happen to have a player that fits the bill in 23 year-old Taijuan Walker. Walker fits the bill for what the Marlins want in return. At 23 years-old, Walker is hardly a veteran, he only made $502,000 last season and is under team control for multiple season down the road. With the Mariners current strategy of hoarding outfielders, Ozuna also fits the bill for them. And with a glut of starting pitching the M’s could afford to pawn off a piece like Walker.
Another possibility is right-hander Roenis Elias Elias started 49 games last season and looked solid for the Mariners. The 27 year-old Cuban posted a 3.70 FIP throughout those starts and an ERA+ of 93. Elias wouldn’t be the centerpiece of a potential deal but would essentially work as a throw in to another player inside of an existing deal.
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James Paxton and Nate Karns are also possibilities in a potential trade. So this leaves four potential young controllable pitchers that fit the Marlins criteria on the Mariners roster. Karns and Paxton both come in at under 30 years-old and both have multiple years of team control remaining on their contracts.
So here we stand with four reasonable players for the Marlins to acquire. All under the age of 30, controllable, and not one of them made more than $600,000 last season. For potential trade scenarios, the Marlins would likely get a package deal of either Paxton or Elias thrown in with Karns. Meanwhile, Walker is more of a mystery as to what the Mariners asking price would be.
Each player has their clear advantages. Walker offers the highest upside, Elias has shown that he could be a solid middle of the rotation guy, Paxton has proved he can be productive, and Karns has a tremendous arm and can be used in a variety of roles. The attention turns to, what’s most important for the Marlins? Do they want the proven product? Or do they want a player with ridiculous upside? These questions may be answered in the next few days.