While crawling through the rumor desert, sputtering and begging for rumors, Jeff Passan comes up with a delightful one. The Marlins have an enviable young outfield set for the next half-decade, but they're also completely weird and hilarious. And apparently, they're making progress on a potential Marcell Ozuna trade, with at least one West Coast team interested.
Say, the Giants are on the West Coast. It's probably the Giants.
Oh, quiet, all of you. Ozuna is 25 and a capable defender in center. He's a right-handed power hitter, and he's under contract through 2019. He's the Giants' new outfielder, back off. We've found a new white whale. This is so much better than spending $100 million or whatever on Yoenis Cespedes.
Ozuna is available because the Marlins are ... eccentric. He slumped last year, and the Marlins sent him down, ostensibly to let him work through his issues. But, well, look at that, the move cost him service time and prevented him from becoming eligible for arbitration this winter, that's strange. What a coincidence.
The problem is that even though the Marlins are selling low, just about every team has room for a 25-year-old power hitter in the outfield, especially one who can play center. The Angels make a ton of sense, and even teams like the Dodgers, who don't seem like an immediate fit, would probably benefit from acquiring Ozuna in the right trade.
The Marlins' current catcher is J.T. Realmuto, who is doing fine for someone living under an assumed name, but the .290 OBP leaves a lot to be desired, and his career minor-league OPS of .729 doesn't hint at a lot of improvement. So it's possible they would be interested in Andrew Susac. More likely, the Giants would probably have to part with Christian Arroyo or more. If the Giants are going to deal their top prospect, doing it to fill an outfield need with a player in his mid-20s would be the way to go.
And when's the last time a trade with the Marlins didn't work out for the Giants?
There are caveats. Ozuna is a hacker, striking out about four times for every walk. While he was excellent in his first full season, his 2015 season was pretty dismal, and the Giants would have to offer up a trade package that ignored his down year.
Still, we know he can roam a big center field. We know his power plays in a spacious ballpark. He would fit with the under-30 core, and he wouldn't be a drag on the budget for years, if ever. The reason we haven't heard about the Giants going after players like Ozuna is because they're usually not available.
The Marlins are weird, though. Never count them out of a baffling rumor. They're reportedly talking to a West Coast team about Marcell Ozuna. Wouldn't it make a lot of sense if that team were the Giants?
Of course, the Marlins being weird cuts both ways.
Marlins wanted No. 1 starter for Ozuna. That didn't help his trade market. Haven't heard any buzz on him in a while. https://t.co/f1AySoBhkQ— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) January 6, 2016