Fantasy Baseball Winter Meetings Trade Reaction: Marcell Ozuna adds to Cardinals' outfield clutter, pushing out notable names

The fire sale continued Wednesday. 

But while Dee Gordon to the Mariners was basically a lateral move and Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees was like a dream come true, the Marlins' latest trade looks like a net loss for Fantasy Baseball owners.

Marcell Ozuna enters a Cardinals outfield that, taking into account every player's upside, was too crowded to begin with.

While in 2017, manager Mike Matheny constantly had to swap out players just to keep them all engaged, he won't have that option in 2018. Dexter Fowler, holder of a $82.5-million contract, will man center field, flanked by Tommy Pham, who finished 11th in NL MVP voting, and Osuna, who finished 15th. 

Possible Cardinals lineup
1
Matt Carpenter St. Louis Cardinals 1B

2
Tommy Pham St. Louis Cardinals LF

3
Marcell Ozuna Miami Marlins LF

4
Dexter Fowler St. Louis Cardinals CF

5
Jose Martinez St. Louis Cardinals 1B

6
Yadier Molina St. Louis Cardinals C

7
Paul DeJong St. Louis Cardinals SS

8
Kolten Wong St. Louis Cardinals 2B

So all those hopes you had for a Stephen Piscotty rebound or a Randal Grichuk home run binge or a Harrison Bader breakthrough or a Tyler O'Neill sighting are out the window now. Those players are either depth or trade bait. And don't even get me started on Jose Martinez, who's basically confined to first base at a time when the Cardinals don't seem to trust playing Matt Carpenter anywhere else.

That's possibly the biggest loss. Martinez isn't the most well-known of that group, but he thrived when given the opportunity to play every day down the stretch last season -- and in a way that appeared sustainable. His line-drive rate would have ranked fifth among qualifiers, according to FanGraphs, and his hard contact rate was on the level of Freddie Freeman. That's how a .350 BABIP comes to be.

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Jose Martinez STL • 1B • 58
2017 season
BA.309
HR14
OPS.897
AB272

All is not lost for Martinez, who could be like the second coming of Allen Craig for Cardinals fans. Carpenter did play more third base down the stretch, mostly for Martinez's benefit, and so maybe a flexible outfield won't even be necessary. But you'd prefer for a bona fide sleeper like him have to options, especially since we know Matheny will be looking for excuses to get Jedd Gyorko in the lineup.

As for Ozuna himself, I'm not sure he gains much of anything with this deal. The Marlins' lineup was actually better than the Cardinals' last season. Neither park is particularly good for home runs, but judging from Ozuna's splits, the venue may not matter much.

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Marcell Ozuna STL • LF •
2017 season
BA.312
HR37
RBI124
OPS.924

There are other concerns, such as a .355 BABIP that, unlike Martinez, the peripherals don't necessarily support, but I had already factored in those concerns when ranking Ozuna 13th among outfielders. And so that's where he'll remain.

The Marlins' return isn't going to have a great impact in the near term. The biggest pieces (and closest to being major league-ready) are Sandy Alcantara and Magneuris Sierra, who are both known in prospect circles -- and even debuted last year -- but haven't produced much in the minors. Alcantara has been clocked as high as 102 mph, but he'll need to improve his command and secondary arsenal to make good on that velocity. His dynasty league owners should be rooting for him to begin the year in the minors. Sierra could become a big base-stealer but is still developing that aspect of his game and is mostly regarded for his defense.

Senior Fantasy Writer

Raised in Atlanta by a board game-loving family during the dawn of the '90s Braves dynasty, Scott White was easy prey for the Fantasy Sports, in particular Fantasy Baseball, and has devoted his adulthood... Full Bio

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