Texas Rangers, Miami Marlins Discuss Marcell Ozuna
By Kenneth Nash
The Miami Marlins are looking to deal Marcell Ozuna and the Texas Rangers are one of the top destinations
The Texas Rangers have made known their quest to add a right-handed bat during the 2016 offseason for the right price. They had shown interest in outfielder Justin Upton, but as of yesterday Upton has signed a six-year, $132.75 million deal with the Detroit Tigers according to USA Today’s, Bob Nightengale. Now the attention of Texas may have shifted south, to outfielder Marcell Ozuna of the Miami Marlins.
The Marlins have openly shopped Marcell Ozuna around to a couple of teams, the Rangers and the Reds being the top two. In return, the seem to be seeking starting pitching and don’t show much willingness to budge from their trade demands. Ozuna, 25, hit .259 in 2015 along with 10 HR and 44 RBI in 123 games. The Marlins’ front office has had no shortage of conflict with the young outfielder and his agent, the notorious Scott Boras. Most of the conflict stems from Ozuna’s demotion in early July which the Marlins say was for developmental purposes. Boras on the other hand, claims that the demotion to Triple-A was sheerly for contractual purposes, pushing Marcell Ozuna’s arbitration back to 2017.
Ozuna would be a nice addition to the Rangers’ outfield who still lacks an everyday left-fielder with a quality bat. Right now there are a few options on the Texas Rangers’ 40-man roster who could find themselves in left field but none of these options present a long-term option. Josh Hamilton is the most familiar name to Ranger fans on that list but possibly the least likely option. Hamilton hit .253 in 2015 in 50 games but as he has throughout his career, he struggled mightily against left-handed pitching. If the Rangers acquire Ozuna, Hamilton would find himself making a few starts to give other outfielders a break but those starts would be almost exclusively against right-handed pitching. Other options include Ryan Rua and new signee Justin Ruggiano. Both of these players are talented and Rua is still only 25 years old, but at the right price, Ozuna would still be quite an upgrade.
The problem keeping the Rangers and Marlins from getting a deal done is the Marlins asking price. Currently the Marlins are seeking substantial starting pitching in return for Marcell Ozuna. Names like Chi Chi Gonzalez and Nick Martinez have been connected to Ozuna trade rumors for months now but with the injury issues Texas has had in the past regarding the starting rotation, these young arms are still quite valuable to the Rangers.
Despite the buzz, signs seem to point to Marcell Ozuna staying in Miami at least for the start of 2016 especially with the recent signing of Wei-Yin Chen which greatly reduces the direness of the Marlins’ pitching situation.
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