After agreeing to terms with starter Wei-Yin Chen, the Marlins now seem rather unlikely to deal away young outfielder Marcell Ozuna, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports on Twitter. Miami had reportedly been dangling Ozuna in hopes of landing a young rotation piece, but seemingly moved on to strike an agreement with Chen when it could not find a trade arrangement it liked.
Of course, much of the impetus for the apparent organizational inclination to trade Ozuna seemed to come from owner Jeffrey Loria. Though there had been discussions about an extension, things turned south after the Scott Boras-represented Ozuna declined to pursue a contract and then struggled to open the 2015 season.
When Jon Heyman asked Loria today whether Ozuna would be moved, he reportedly responded: “he’s here!” (Twitter link.) That line is hardly definitive, of course, but it certainly seems to suggest that it could stay that way in the context of the Chen agreement and the aforementioned report.
While the Marlins were said to be comfortable deploying Christian Yelich in center if a deal had come together involving Ozuna, it seems preferable to keep him and Giancarlo Stanton at the corners. Indeed, as I wrote in addressing the lynchpin decision on Ozuna in the Marlins’ offseason outlook, there is still tremendous appeal in keeping that trio together for the foreseeable future.