The Miami Marlins are open to trading Marcell Ozuna this offseason and I think the Mets could be a potential fit. The Mets are in an interesting situation where they need to add offense, but they do not have many available positions on the field to add a bat. With Michael Conforto in left field and Curtis Granderson in right, center field appears to be the only place where the Mets can fit an outfielder in the lineup.
With the combination of Wilmer Flores and Dilson Herrera set to take over second base and David Wright and Lucas Duda at the corners, shortstop is the only position where the Mets can potentially add a free agent.
However, there are not many impact bats available at center field and shortstop so a trade might be the best way to improve the lineup.
This is where Ozuna could come into play. Marcell Ozuna had a rough year with the Marlins that included a mid season demotion to the minor leagues. This demotion seems to have occurred not only because he was playing poorly but also because it prevented him from gaining enough service time to achieve his Super Two status. This basically means that he will not be eligible for arbitration until after the 2016 season.
This move has created a cloud mistrust between Ozuna and Marlins ownership and it made headlines when Ozunas compared his time in the Minors to being in jail.
There were even recent reports from Bob Nightengale that, “Dan Jennings and owner Jeffrey Loria’s relationship soured when Jennings played Marcell Ozuna, going against Loria’s wishes.” These are the events that often lead up to a trade and I would not be shocked at all if he was moved before next season.
Ozuna can fit into the Mets lineup as a good defensive center fielder with more pop than Juan Lagares. In 2014 he hit 23 home runs and drove in 85 runs so the power potential is still there. The other obvious benefit to a trade for Ozuna is that he is only 24 years old, is cheap, and would be under team control through the 2019 season. The question really is what would it take to get him in a trade.
The one major area of concern for the Marlins going into next season is their starting rotation. Aside from Jose Fernandez and Tom Koehler they have a lot of question marks in their rotation. The real beauty of this trade is that it would not cost the Mets any of their young starting pitchers. A trade could potentially be made centered around Jon Niese as he could slide into their rotation right behind Fernandez.
Another potential match could be Rafael Montero but his stock is most likely at an all-time low after an injury-plagued 2015. There has been no reports of interest on either side but an Ozuna trade could be a cost effective way to add offense without giving up to many assets.
Ozuna bats right handed, but his career splits show he can hold his own with a .257/.304/.402 slash vs RHP and .295/.337/.471 vs LHP.
Ozuna rebounded nicely when he was finally recalled from the minors and posted a .789 OPS with 13 doubles, six home runs, 18 RBI and 20 runs scored in 162 at-bats.
To wrap up, basically Ozuna gives you a solid defensive center fielder that can add some power to the lineup and can play everyday.