After their attempt to trade for Giancarlo Stanton fell flat, the Cardinals were forced to search for a big bat in other corners of the league. Turns out they needed only look at the other corner in Miami. In a move that had gained consistent traction over the last few days, the Cards agreed to a trade for Marlins left fielder Marcell Ozuna on Wednesday afternoon.
Source: Marcel Ozuna has been traded to the Cardinals. The deal is pending a physical.
— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) December 13, 2017
The move is still pending a physical and we’re not yet sure what the Cards are sending back in return, but the Marlins desperately want pitching and St. Louis has plenty of that to spare. Right-handed fireballer Sandy Alcantara was said to be a centerpiece of the Stanton package, so it’s possible he’s included here as well.
Though not nearly as accomplished as his former teammate, Ozuna is a year younger and just a little bit cheaper. He’s projected to earn around $11 million in 2018, his second year of arbitration, and even a sizable raise in 2019 makes him a good value. The righty-batting outfielder slashed .312/.376/.548 and raised his walk percentage for the third straight year while more or less maintaining his career strikeout rate.
The Cardinals aren’t done yet, either. They’ve still got plenty of pitching prospects, not to mention a glut of outfielders they’d like to move. And with reported interest in Alex Colome, Wade Davis, and Evan Longoria, they could still make some splashy moves.
Looks like falling behind the Cubs for the last three years has lit something of a fire under John Mozeliak’s rear end.
Alcantara is indeed at least part of what the Cardinals are giving up.
alcantara goes to malrins in ozuna deal
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 13, 2017
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 13, 2017
And in other Marlins trade news, they have made it known that Christian Yelich is also available. Because of his talent and relatively low cost over the remaining five years of his deal, Miami is seeking more for Yelich than they got for either of his former outfield mates.
Sources: Now that Marcell Ozuna has been dealt to St. Louis, Christian Yelich is in play. Marlins are telling teams they’ll trade him, though price will be even higher than Ozuna, with Yelich under control for up to five years at $58.25 million.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 13, 2017