Marcell Ozuna trade talks appear to have started again after the announcement that Alex Gordon has opted to remain in Kansas City by signing a $72 million contract. This deal has obviously depleted the outfield market, and now teams are starting to look to Miami and Ozuna as the likes of Justin Upton and Yoenis Cespedes, the last big free agent outfielders, will likely demand huge contracts.
One team that has held conversations with the Marlins regarding Ozuna is the Texas Rangers. The Marlins would like a big return for Ozuna, including a starting pitcher and possibly prospects. There was no mention of any prospects in The Miami Herald report, but Chi Chi Gonzalez was the starting pitcher who came up.
Gonzalez, a Boynton Beach native, is a soon-to-be 24 year-old righty who made his debut in 2015. In 14 regular season games (10 starts, including a complete game shutout), Gonzalez racked up 67 innings and sported a 3.90 ERA. He even pitched in the postseason, although he didn't experience the same success. The 23rd overall pick in the 2013 draft was ranked the 29th best prospect by Baseball Prospectus before the 2015 season.
Trading Ozuna to the Rangers for Chi Chi Gonzalez would make sense for the Marlins on the one hand because they would be adding a talented, young arm to their rotation. Miami used a record number of starters last season, and they have done nothing to add pitching depth but sign Edwin Jackson (while also letting Henderson Alvarez go). Gonzalez would likely be a very affordable option with a high ceiling.
On the other hand, this trade would leave Miami with a hole in the outfield, and no one really to fill it. Derek Dietrich would probably be the best option on the roster right now, but he has not shown that he is capable of performing at a high level every day and that would mean having someone platoon with him. Ichiro Suzuki would most likely be that platoon partner, but neither of them has the potential upside Marcell Ozuna has, so Miami would create a problem while not fully solving another.
Chi Chi Gonzalez is an intriguing young pitcher who the Marlins would probably love to have on their team, but losing Ozuna and not having anyone talented enough to man center field everyday would likely only be detrimental to this team. If the Marlins could find a replacement for Ozuna on the market, then this trade would make a lot of sense, but the Marlins won't pay for Justin Upton or Yoenis Cespedes, and there is little else out there.
Look for the Marlins to test the market and see what other teams are offering, but Chi Chi Gonzalez is not a bad name to be hearing at this point in time.