Seattle is interested in acquiring Marcell Ozuna. Multiple other clubs probably are too. But if the Marlins are truly open to moving Ozuna, they need to ensure they maximize the return.
Several reports have indicated Owner Jeffrey Loria and other Marlins front office executives are down on Ozuna. He did speak out against the organization's decision to demote him, as did his agent, Scott Boras. Ozuna also consistently struggled throughout the first half of the season. But he could very well be a candidate to bounce back and have a solid year in 2016.
Although Miami does not appear to be pleased with Ozuna, the organization very well might benefit from keeping Ozuna in the outfield. He has proven to be a consistent right-handed power threat and is solid defensively.
Heading into 2015, the Marlins felt they had the best outfield in baseball with Christian Yelich in left field, Ozuna in center and Giancarlo Stanton in right field. If Ozuna can produce next year, that could prove to be true.
The Marlins are seeking controllable starting pitching, and a deal involving Ozuna should yield at least one quality arm. In Seattle, that could be Roenis Elias, Nate Karns or Taijuan Walker. In Cleveland, that could be Carlos Carrasco. If the Marlins do not want to add a starter via free agency, the best way to add a top arm might be to move Ozuna. But there are still other possibilities.
Any return in an Ozuna deal should still be significant. Ozuna, 24, ended the year with a .259/.308/.383 line to complement 10 home runs and 44 RBIs over 123 games with the Marlins. In 2014, Ozuna hit 23 home runs and drove in 85.
Last off-season, it appeared the Marlins had interest in extending Ozuna. There still remains a chance he becomes a star outfielder, and he is still arbitration eligible. If the Marlins decide to move Ozuna, they would have to pursue an additional outfielder, which would likely end up costing more than Ozuna anyway.
Ultimately, the Marlins should not sell low on Ozuna because of the way he is viewed within the organization. If the club decides to trade Ozuna, the return should be equal in value.