The St. Louis Cardinals have been connected to Giancarlo Stanton and the Miami Marlins for most of the offseason. With Stanton being dealt to the New York Yankees yesterday, many rival executives expect the Cardinals to pursue a trade with the Marlins for Christian Yelich or Marcell Ozuna according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.
Derek Jeter and company have fully committed to cutting payroll like they promised. Within the week they have traded away Dee Gordon with his $37 million owed and now Stanton with his $295 million owed. While the Marlins did include $30 million in the deal, there’s no doubt that they saved an enormous amount of money this week between the two trades.
It’s not crazy to think the Marlins will still trade players. Furthermore it wouldn’t be shocking if the Cardinals and Marlins can agree to a deal for Ozuna or Yelich. After all, in the end, Stanton was the one who prevented a trade to St. Louis.
Beforehand, both teams had deals in place for Stanton. A week ago it was reported that the Cardinals’ package for Stanton was focused on Sandy Alcantara and involved more money taken on than the Giants according to Craig Mish of SiriusXM.
Ozuna, 27, should get the most interest as he is entering his second year of arbitration. The 2017 Silver Slugger hit .312/.376/.548/.924 with 93 runs, 37 home runs, and 124 RBI. He will surely bring the Marlins a lot more than Stanton in terms of prospects. That is because he’s the most affordable of the Marlins’ 2017 outfield.
Yelich, on the other hand, was productive in 2017, but not as much as Ozuna. He hit .282/.369/.439/.807 with 100 runs, 18 home runs, 81 RBI, and 16 stolen bases.
The 26-year-old is owed more money over the course of more years than Ozuna. In Dec. 2015, he signed a 7-year, $49.5 million.
With the deal(s) the Cardinals allegedly offered the Marlins for Stanton, they should have a good shot at landing either outfielder. That is of course as long as the Marlins have interest in moving them.
We’ll have to see how the markets for Ozuna and Yelich develop, but if either could be had for a decent price, the Mets should definitely join in on the conversation.
The Mets’ farm system is no longer packed with a multitude of top prospects, but as the Yankees showed in their trade for Stanton, top prospects aren’t always necessary when taking on salary.
Either player would present a considerable offensive upgrade over Juan Lagares. A trade for Ozuna or Yelich should at least be considered by the Mets.