The Miami Marlins have done what they set out to do and cleared around $300 million with the trades of Dee Gordon and Giancarlo Stanton. Unfortunately, because they keyed in on shedding payroll, they didn't get a lot of young, premium talent in return.
So, now that the rebuild is fully underway, don't be shocked if the Marlins continue to deal big pieces to unload more money, and this time around seek top prospects. That means outfielder Marcell Ozuna could be on his way out, and the St. Louis Cardinals might be the front runner.
I wouldn't be surprised if @Marlins turn attention to #STLCards regarding Marcell Ozuna. In recent talks w/ STL for Stanton, pitching prospects Sandy Alcantara, Dakota Hudson and Jack Flaherty were discussed. Any combo of those 3 possible for Ozuna makes sense.— Joe Frisaro (@JoeFrisaro) December 9, 2017
This is pure speculation by Joe Frisaro, but it makes perfect sense for both teams. Ozuna may not be Stanton, but he put up an MVP-caliber season after slashing .312/.376/.548 with 37 home runs and 124 RBI over 159 games.
And prep yourselves. It’s only the beginning. With Stanton now gone before winter meetings, the focus for Marlins next week now becomes getting a huge return for Marcell Ozuna. If no one budges, you keep him another year.— Will Manso (@WillManso) December 9, 2017
Ozuna is a free agent in a couple years, and it's highly unlikely the Marlins will be in contention. So, it makes sense to try and move him now while his value is this high, especially with a team like St. Louis who possesses a lot of young pitching talent.
Miami doesn't need to be in a rush to move Ozuna, but to successfully rebuild this team, especially their minor league pipeline, they can't do half measures. They need to be aggressive and Ozuna is one of their players that can really bring them a haul of talent. And don't be surprised if he isn't the only talent they consider moving to St. Louis:
Rival execs expect the #StLCards to make a legit pitch for #Marlins Marcell Ozuna or Christian Yelich now that the Stanton ship has sailed. It's more of a pure baseball trade and probably more in John Mozeliak's comfort zone anyway.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) December 9, 2017
Keep an eye on the Marlins and Cardinals next week at the Winter Meetings. There could be plenty of action.