Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria will make young slugger Marcell Ozuna available via trade in the coming offseason. Disappointed in Ozuna’s play and handling of a demotion to AAA, Loria is said to be willing to deal the outfielder available for young, controllable, starting pitching. After a breakout 2014 season which saw him hit 269/.317/.455 with 23 homers, Ozuna regressed to hit just .249/.296/.368 with eight homers in limited time with the big club this year. Ozuna is capable of playing above average defence at all 3 outfield spots and at 24 years old still holds plenty of upside. It is worth noting that any player acquired between now and the end of the regular season would not be eligible for the playoff roster.
With expensive, aging stars Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford still seeing plenty of playing time, Ozuna could be a real asset for a roster that is trying to get both younger and cheaper. Loria is seeking a quality, young starting pitcher and the good news is the Dodgers have plenty to spare biding their time down on the farm. The Dodgers should certainly avoid trading future stars Julio Urias, Walker Buehler and Jose de Leon, however former first-rounders Chris Anderson and Zach Lee should (in my opinion) be made available. The Dodgers could also continue to flex their financial muscle and absorb some of Alex Guerrero‘s salary and throw him in as a sweetener, as there is clearly no playing time for him in LA, even with his offensive upside.
Ozuna has the potential to be a future All-Star and is both cheap and controllable. As such if the asking price is reasonable, the Dodgers should make a real play at the young outfielder.