Free Agent Signees the Marlins Shouldn’t Be Afraid of

PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 22: Marcell Ozuna
PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 22: Marcell Ozuna /
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Marcell Ozuna

Marcell Ozuna departed the Marlins for greener pastures in the post-2017 trade that netted Daniel Castano, Sandy Alcantara, Zac Gallen, and Magneuris Sierra. Alcantara seems the likely staff ace, Sierra a possible permanent center fielder, and Gallen was traded to the Diamondbacks for Jazz Chisholm. Only Castano is a net unknown at this point, but a 7-2 record and 3.35 ERA with the Double-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp in 2019 points to another possible future major leaguer.

With their prospects, the Cardinals gained an all-star, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger after Ozuna’s to-date career season. He hit .312/.376/.548 with 37 homers and 124 RBI in 2017 for the Marlins.

Following the trade, Ozuna has given the Cardinals diminished returns. In 2018 he slashed .280/.325/.433, followed by a further dip in 2019 with a .241/.328/.472. Although he’s still passable in the outfield, his Gold Glove credentials took a hit with his well-publicized poor fielding.

Despite Ozuna’s downward-trending overall arc, he’ll still be only 29-years-old when the 2020 season starts. He just completed a one-year, $12.25 million deal, and he’s still capable of great things. He’s not to the non-roster invitee portion of his career, at any rate, at least not yet. On the free agent market, I think Ozuna could possibly go somewhere in the three-year, $43 million range. The Marlins could get him back, and possibly set him up right next to Sierra. Wouldn’t that be something?