Miami is not expected to trade Marcell Ozuna before the end of the month. But some feel he would be best suited in another environment.
The Marlins optioned Ozuna to Triple-A after a slow offensive start, and according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal, opposing clubs feel Ozuna is a bounce back candidate that would benefit from a change of scenery.
Some teams view Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna as an interesting change-of-scenery, bounce-back candidate, but one club official says Ozuna remains very much in the team’s plans, even though he is now at Triple-A.
Ozuna, 24, struggled at the plate to begin the year, posting a .249/.301/.337 batting line to complement four home runs and 26 RBIs through 79 games. In his absence, the club has used Ichiro Suzuki and Cole Gillespie, but the Marlins' outfield has consistently been plagued by injuries. Giancarlo Stanton is out with a hand injury and Christian Yelich spent time on the disabled list earlier in the year. Although the Marlins have used their reserve outfielders in Ozuna's absence, the organization is hoping he will return soon and will not have an extensive stay with Triple-A New Orleans.
Before the start of the season, the Marlins attempted to sign Ozuna to an extension. However, Ozuna is represented by Scott Boras, who more often than not encourages his clients to test the free agent market. Ozuna batted .269/.317/.455 to complement 23 home runs and 85 RBIs through 153 games last season and turned down the proposed deal. Miami is confident he can have a solid second half, and he has had some success since being optioned. Ozuna is batting .351/.351/.622 with two home runs and five RBIs in Triple-A.
While the Marlins likely will not consider dealing Ozuna because he is a member of their core, the club also lacks a notable amount of outfield depth. Once Jake Marisnick was sent to Houston in the Jarred Cosart deal last summer, the Marlins' system lost a key outfield piece. Miami could utilize Michael Morse and Suzuki in the outfield this season and wait until the offseason to add another outfielder. But since Ozuna is a controllable piece with the potential to provide a notable amount of power from the right side of the plate, he likely will not be traded.
In a deal involving Ozuna, the Marlins would likely receive multiple prospects. But for now, the Marlins are hoping he can bounce back for the remainder of the season.