The Nationals, Cardinals and Giants are among “6-8 clubs” interested in acquiring Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna, according to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.
It was also reported that the Athletics also had interest in Ozuna, but Frisaro did not mention them as one of the six to eight clubs.
Ozuna is garnering so much interest because he is young, can provide a big bat and is controllable.
The 26-year-old had career highs in every major statistical category last season, as he blasted 37 home runs and knocked in 124 runs while posting a .312/.376/.548 slash line for Miami. In the process, he earned his second straight All-Star appearance, his first Silver Slugger Award and his first Gold Glove Award. As far his contract, he is under control through 2019 and is only projected to make about $10.9 million through arbitration, according to MLBTradeRumors.com.
Out of the teams mentioned by Frisaro, the Cardinals and Giants are expected suitors because they had went after Ozuna’s ex-teammate Giancarlo Stanton. Both clubs had agreements in place with the Marlins on Stanton, but Stanton said no to the deals and decided to accept a trade with the Yankees a couple of days later.
However, the Nationals are a surprise, considering they have a surplus in the outfield. The Nationals’ starting outfield consists of Bryce Harper, Michael Taylor and Adam Eaton, but they also have Brian Goodwin and three talented prospects, including Victor Robles — the No. 2 ranked prospect according to MLBPipeline.com. They could be looking into Ozuna in case Harper does not re-sign with them after next season, when he is a free agent.