As we noted yesterday, there are some suspicions regarding Marcell Ozuna’s time down on the farm. Barry Jackson followed up on his journalistic impulse regarding Ozuna’s banishment to AAA New Orleans. Read up what he found out in its entirety here.
A couple key things to note – Ozuna is a client of Scott Boras who is notorious for telling his clients to go to free agency in order to get the most money they can. He wants them to break the bank and force any team to shell out. This is something of a fear for fans as Boras’ clients tend to end up with the rich teams in the league and not stay put, or so that is the perception. Also keep in mind that the Marlins have Jose Fernandez who is also a Boras client and, clearly, the Marlins want to keep him around. Could they be able to keep both players when they eventually explore free agency? The odds are against them.
Ozuna is not a free agent until 2019 – so he does have considerable years of control ahead of him for his team. Which is probably one of the reasons why he has been kept down – to keep him from jumping into arbitration earlier. Yes, the Marlins are a penny-pinching organization; they have had to be for years in order to survive. The claim, now that the stadium is here, is that those days are over. With the 2nd lowest payroll in baseball still, that remains to be seen.
There could be another interesting development here though, too. Perhaps Ozuna is being shopped and keeping him down in the minors could increase his value a bit? After all, he had a great season last year and his struggles this year are well noted, but his numbers at NOLA are pretty strong. If a team makes a deal for him, he could stay in their minor league system for a few more weeks and also avoid arbitration with that organization for another year.
While #Marlins aren't shopping Marcell Ozuna, numerous teams asking about him, including Indians.
— clarkspencer (@clarkspencer) July 28, 2015
One of those teams is rumored to be the Cleveland Indians, who has a slew of controllable starters that could be available. Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazar, and Trevor Bauer seem to fit this scenario.
Also keep in mind that Ozuna, as encouraged by Boras, declined the Marlins’ offer for an extension.
If the Fish can pull of a late deadline deal, Ozuna would be able to fetch something of serious note considering his controllability and potential. Also, think about Derek Dietrich getting some PT in LF and realize that Dan Jennings is less of a manager and more of a GM in the dugout. His lineups are looking more and more to be intended to see what works; trying Dietrich in LF is perhaps an immediate answer should the Marlins pull the trigger on an Ozuna for pitching deal – Dietrich in LF, Yelich in CF, and Stanton in RF once he returns. This also means that Martin Prado would indeed be a necessity moving forward to play 3B and Casey McGehee would offer insurance at both corner spots while Justin Bour should cement his position at 1B.
Stay tuned – the deadline is over today at 4pm.