Marcell Ozuna trade: MLB prospect expert weighs in on Marlins' return from Cardinals

The Miami Marlins continued their fire sale on Wednesday, reportedly agreeing to send Marcell Ozuna to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for four prospects: pitchers Sandy Alcantara, Zac Gallen, and Daniel Castano, and outfielder Magneuris Sierra.

To make sense of the trade, we asked Rotoworld's Christopher Crawford to weigh in on the prospects. You can follow Crawford on Twitter here.

Is this the best return the Marlins have received in a trade so far?

Yeah, I think so. Pretty easily, in fact. Stanton was a salary dump, and Gordon was somewhere in the middle of a salary dump and a legit trade. This one clearly has financial implications, but it's the closest we've seen to "fair value" for a hitter so far. Best of the worst can still be bad, though, and this probably is.

Is Sierra going to hit enough to avoid being a bench player?

I think just enough, and maybe he profiles best as a fourth outfielder. He doesn't have to hit much, however, because of his arm, speed and glove all being plus. The Jarrod Dyson comp is easy, but if he's a semblance of what he provided Seattle in 2017, that's a good player.

Can Alcantara stick in the rotation?

I don't think so. I don't think the breaking-ball is consistent enough, and I don't think he's going to throw enough strikes. Many in the industry are higher on him, and I do get it; it's a big fastball and the change can make hitters look foolish. I just think it profiles much better in relief.

What do we need to know about Gallen?

I like Gallen a lot, more than the aforementioned industry might. He has three above-average pitches, and all of them are located well. What you see is what you get and what you see is a fourth starter, but a fourth starter is a very nice thing to have.

How about Castano?

Castano is the player I know the least about, but based on reports from those I spoke with, he's a throw-in. He's another strike-thrower, but doesn't have an out pitch, and probably profiles best as an innings-eater out of the bullpen, if not roster fodder at this point.

Where do these players rank in the Marlins system?

I would put all three in the Marlins top 10, and I'd probably put Sierra in the top four right now. Alcantara and Gallen will both go in the back-end of the system. It's getting better, but any legit prospects they acquire during this fire sale are going to rank high because there was so much room to grow.


The Marlins seemingly made their best deal of the winter, bolstering their farm system with a few interesting players. Sierra and Alcantara are the headliners, and each has a considerable amount of upside and risk to their games. How those two develop will dictate if the Marlins look smart or silly in about three to five years' time.

Remember to follow Crawford on Twitter for more insight into prospects

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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