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Miami Marlins' players believe 2016 club would be better with Marcell Ozuna on roster

Ozuna is a candidate to be moved this offseason. But his teammates don't want to see him traded.

Miami might consider moving Marcell Ozuna this winter but several of his teammates want to see him stay. Ozuna has struggled throughout the course of 2015, but according to's Joe Frisaro, several players "have expressed the team would be better next year with Ozuna staying."

It has been a notable season for Ozuna, who opened the season as the Marlins' starting center fielder. After a few months, he was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans while in the midst of a slump and did not return until August 15. Before being demoted, Ozuna was batting .249 with four doubles and 26 RBIs over 79 contests.

Although he had a slow start to the year offensively with the Marlins, Ozuna was productive in Triple-A. Over 33 games, he batted .317 while driving in 11 runs.

Even though the Marlins are without Giancarlo Stanton, Ozuna has not received consistent playing time since returning. Frisaro adds the Marlins are utilizing a "rotation" in the outfield and as a result Ozuna has spent a notable amount of time on the bench. Miami is also trying to determine whether or not Derek Dietrich can emerge as a starting outfielder heading into next season.

Before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, Ozuna was reportedly drawing a notable amount of interest. Cleveland was one of the teams known to be involved and the Marlins could trade Ozuna this offseason. The club is known to be seeking additional starting pitching depth and a package involving Ozuna would likely yield at least one top tier arm.

While Ozuna's teammates are fond of having him in the clubhouse, his relationship with Miami's front office might not be as strong as it once was. The Marlins attempted to extend Ozuna last winter but Ozuna's agent, Scott Boras, likely made talks difficult. Boras tends to encourage his clients to explore the free agent market before signing a long term deal. The demotion also likely negatively affected Ozuna, who compared his promotion to being let out of jail. As a result of being optioned, Ozuna is now not arbitration eligible until 2017.

Heading into 2015, the Marlins thought they had one of baseball's best outfields, but Ozuna, Christian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton have not played together much this season. Ozuna had a notable amount of success in 2014 (.269 average to complement 23 home runs and 85 RBIs) and the Marlins could use that as a reference in trade talks, but there is no guarantee his down year doesn't significantly affect his trade value.

Regardless of whether or not his teammates want Ozuna to return, the Marlins will make a decision with regard to his future in Miami. There remains a chance he is starting elsewhere in 2016.