Marcell Ozuna has been mentioned in trade rumors over the last few weeks, and it now appears the Marlins are open to moving him. The Mariners are working on a deal to acquire Ozuna, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick.
In any deal this winter, the Marlins are likely to check in on controllable starting pitchers. Miami is hoping to add starting depth to complement Jose Fernandez, Tom Koehler and Jarred Cosart in the rotation.
Nate Karns and Roenis Elias could be two starters the Marlins could pursue in a deal with Seattle.
Karns, 27, pitched to a 3.67 ERA and 4.09 FIP over 147.0 innings last season. He has proven to be durable and would give the Marlins another middle of the rotation arm who strikes out an average of eight or nine batters per nine innings every season.
Elias, also 27, pitched to a 4.14 ERA and 4.52 FIP over 115.1 innings. He would give the Marlins a left-handed option to insert into the rotation.
Ozuna, 24, struggled consistently throughout the first half of 2015. He ended the year with a .259/.308/.383 line to complement 10 home runs and 44 RBIs over 123 games with the Marlins.
After Ozuna had difficulty producing to open the year, the Marlins opted to option to him to Triple-A. He batted .317 over 33 contests in New Orleans, however did not respond positively to the demotion. Ozuna compared playing in Triple-A to being let out of jail and ultimately did not return to Miami until August 15.
Miami was hoping to extend Marcell Ozuna before the start of last season, however he is represented by Scott Boras and turned down the Marlins' extension proposal. Boras has a tendency to encourage his clients to receive the largest possible contract through free agency. Ozuna's decision might have cost him a job with the Marlins.