If the Miami Marlins are going to trade one or more of its core players to acquire pitching help in the offseason, the name that might be talked about the most is outfielder Marcell Ozuna. Reports from several sources show Ozuna is drawing interest as the Hot Stove Season has begun.
Per Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Marlins' All-Star outfielder again finds himself the subject of trade speculation at the General Managers Meetings in Arizona. But the Marlins are sending out a clear message: Teams interested should be prepared to pay a high price.
"As his name came up last year, you tell your counterparts, 'This is a talented young man.' We know he is," Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill told reporters in Arizona. "So we're not going to sell him on the low, or trade him 20 cents on the dollar, because this is a premium position player with power and athleticism. I think he showed this year, this is who he is."
There has been talk the team may also try to shop infielder Derek Dietrich as well.
Ozuna, entering his first season being arbitration-eligible, may be the more logical trade commodity to acquire a starting pitcher.
Ozuna turns 26 on Saturday, and he is coming off a season in which he started in center field in the All-Star Game for the National League.
In 148 games, Ozuna had a slash line of .266/.321/.452 slash line, tying his career-high with 23 home runs while also driving in 76 runs.
The Marlins do not have the chess pieces in their farm system to acquire top-shelf pitching. They traded away their top prospect, Josh Naylor, to obtain Andrew Cashner at the trade deadline. Cashner is not expected to return to south Florida in 2017.