This is going to go on all damned offseason, isn’t it? There will be young, cheap, and productive players on the trading block, and my job is going to be simple and repetitive. No, the Giants aren’t likely to make this trade because they lack the specific resources needed. Thanks, and we’ll check back next week.
Today’s rumor has to do with Marcell Ozuna, who is young, cheap, and productive. When you see those words together, sigh the deepest of sighs. They mean that the Giants aren’t likely to get this particular player.
This time, though, it’s for a different reason! Ozuna hit 37 home runs last year and won a Gold Glove, so it’s not like he’ll be cheap. The Marlins are already intimately familiar with the Giants’ farm system, and they might have grown attached to some specific prospects. Considering Ozuna has just two years left before reaching free agency, the Marlins are likely to get top prospects back, but they won’t get a Chris Sale-like haul with a top-10 prospect. The Giants can play in this kind of market. It will likely cost them Heliot Ramos and more, but they aren’t shut out completely.
The trick here is that the Marlins probably aren’t looking only for prospects. They’re looking for something marlinsier.
Source: marlins are working to trade ozuna and tazawa to get to $85-90M payroll first. Can’t rule out continuing firesale after that but the first thing is to get payroll in order.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 12, 2017
That would be Junichi Tazawa, who was absolutely awful last year and is owed $7 million in 2018. If I had to guess, though, I would think the Marlins are more interested in moving Ozuna with Wei-Yin Chen, who has $52 million left on his deal. A team wouldn’t need to empty the farm for Ozuna and Chen, and the Marlins would get exactly what they wanted.
There are at least eight teams interested in Ozuna. One of them will be able to give the Marlins some combination of prospects and salary relief that the Giants won’t. So it goes.
Would Ozuna fit on the Giants? Oh, my. He’s right-handed power, and he’s a fine defender. He’s young, athletic, and exciting, and he wouldn’t be so expensive that the offseason would end with him. Think of his skill set like a young Hunter Pence, but with more power. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Giants go after him in free agency after the 2019 season, depending on what their needs are.
But he’s a popular trade target. Popular enough that the Marlins can hold out for top prospects or salary relief, neither of which are assets the Giants have in great abundance. I’m just gonna copy and paste those two sentences and swap the names out for the rest of the offseason.
If the Giants improve their team greatly this offseason, they’ll either have to blow past the de facto salary cap or get really, really creative. I’m hoping to write more about the creativity later today, but for now, let’s just assume that Ozuna isn’t likely to happen. You can tell because he’s a target who would make far too much sense for the 2018 Giants. Players who make that much sense are too hard for a team to acquire if they don’t have a lot of payroll room or a great farm system.
Welcome to the Giants’ offseason. They aren’t doomed, but they’re kind of doing this:
You can get all the way to Ganon without a sword, but you can’t beat him, so this metaphor works on a couple of levels.
You can get the DVDs and Blu-rays from 2010, 2012, and 2014 pretty cheap these days, you know.