Monday afternoon, the New York Yankees introduced Giancarlo Stanton, their newest player, with a press conference at the Winter Meetings in Orlando. Stanton came over from the Miami Marlins over the weekend. That happened a few days after the Marlins shipped Dee Gordon to the Seattle Mariners.
Now, with Gordon and Stanton gone, the Marlins are reportedly focused on trading Marcell Ozuna, their other slugging outfielder. Miami is pushing him in trades and teams are interested.
Nats and cardinals are among teams to check in on marcell ozuna. With 2 years to go before free agency, and marlins at least 3 years away from contention (at least!), he seems sure to go. Huge 2017 season, team leader.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 12, 2017
Ozuna, who turned 27 only last month, hit a robust .312/.376/.548 (145 OPS+) with 37 home runs in 2017, earning him his second straight All-Star Game selection. Since 2014, Ozuna is a .278/.333/.465 (117 OPS+) hitter who has averaged 26 homers and 3.6 WAR per 162 games. He is very quietly one of the game's best players.
The Marlins are unabashedly dumping salary in an effort to get the team's finances in check. They've already trimmed $35.8 million off their 2018 payroll with the Stanton and Gordon trades -- that's assuming they flip Starlin Castro, who came over in the Stanton trade, and his $10.9 million salary elsewhere -- and trading Ozuna would lead to considerable savings as well. MLB Trade Rumors projects him to make $10.9 million through arbitration next year.
It seems as though the Marlins are going right down the line and trading away anyone making real money. Gordon is gone, Stanton is gone, now Ozuna is being shopped. Who's next? Christian Yelich? Martin Prado? Brad Ziegler? Whoever it ends up being, the Marlins seem dedicated to fielding a non-competitive bare bones roster in 2018.