Miami went into the Winter Meetings saying it was not planning on trading Jose Fernandez. And now that the annual meetings are winding down, it appears the Marlins kept to that.
The organization did the same for Marcell Ozuna. In the weeks leading up to the meetings, the expectation was the Marlins would explore moving Ozuna. But that did not end up happening either, at least not in Nashville.
If the Marlins were going to move Fernandez and Ozuna, they made it clear the return would need to be significant. In a Fernandez trade, the Marlins were reportedly requesting five or six top prospects. In a deal for Ozuna, the Marlins were asking for a front of the rotation starter, according to ESPN's Jayson Stark.
#Marlins have aimed high in their Marcell Ozuna trade talks -- i.e., Yordano Ventura, Taijuan Walker, Danny Salazar. Serious asks.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) December 10, 2015
At the very least, the requests indicate the Marlins have been consistent. They value their players, and rightfully so. Fernandez has proven he can be dominant. Some of the prospects the Diamondbacks and Dodgers might have been willing to give up are not necessarily established.
Several outlets this week indicated scouts feel Marcell Ozuna is a bounce back candidate. If that's true, the Marlins are right to request a top arm in return.
Sure, Fernandez was sidelined at times in 2015, but he still pitched to a 2.92 ERA over 64.2 innings. Sure, Ozuna spent time in Triple-A after a slow start. But he still hit 10 home runs and drove in 44 runs over 123 contests and gives the Marlins a power bat from the right side of the plate.
Miami was not notably active at the Winter Meetings, but perhaps that is a good thing. They did not buy but they did not sell. They did not get any better but they did not get any worse. Rumors dominated this year's meetings. Little action was taken, and things could develop in the coming weeks.
Perhaps the Marlins were just seeing what they could receive in return for Fernandez in preparation for a future deal. As far as Ozuna goes, if the Marlins moved him, they would almost certainly have to add an outfielder. Maybe they came to that realization and decided to give Ozuna another opportunity.
The off-season is just getting underway and the Marlins have not been notably active. They likely will be in the coming week, and one thing remains clear: they have been notably consistent with regard to returns in potential trades.