According to Bob Nightengale and Jeff Passan, the market for Marcell Ozuna has picked up.
The #Rangers have engaged in trade talks with #Marlins for CF Marcell Ozuna, but the asking price remains high, and any deal may be longshot— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 6, 2016
Source: Market on Marcell Ozuna is moving fast. Marlins have spoken trade with multiple teams, including one West Coast team recently.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 6, 2016
In 494 plate appearances last season, Ozuna hit an underwhelming .259/.308/.383, but that hardly tells the entire story. He was demoted to the minor leagues in what appeared to be tied to service time manipulation, as he posted fantastic numbers while at the AAA level. Upon returning to the Marlins, he proved to be more than effective, as he hit a much improved .278/.320/.469 with a wOBA of .340, and a wRC+ of 115.
The Rangers could undoubtedly use a center fielder, as their current options are Delino DeShields, and Justin Ruggiano. However their farm system might not have the prospects that the Marlins would ask for, as they traded away five minor leaguers in the trade with Philadelphia to acquire Cole Hamels.
Passan notes that a team from the west coast is involved in the bidding, which through educated guesswork could seemingly narrow the list down to the Angels, Giants, and potentially the Diamondbacks.
Anaheim desperately needs offensive help, and could slot Ozuna into left field, where Daniel Nava is currently listed as the starter on Los Angeles' depth chart; the Giants have reportedly been looking for someone who could play left field, as well as center if Angel Pagan succumbs to injury again; and the Diamondbacks could use Ozuna to help replace the production lost from trading away Ender Inciarte.
Ultimately the biggest hurdle for any team interested in acquiring Ozuna will be Miami's asking price, which is reportedly high. None of the teams listed above have a particularly strong farm system, as the Angels and Diamondbacks both traded away significant minor league talent recently, and the Giants ranked 27th on Baseball America's 2015 organizational rankings; although they've made improvements in the time since.
It's difficult to gauge how likely a trade of Ozuna is, as the Marlins likely want a huge package for a player who's controlled through 2019, and there have been conflicting reports about Jeffrey Loria's desire to move him. However with Alex Gordon off the board, and the outfield market heating up, we should have an answer about Ozuna's future soon.