Marcell Ozuna’s 33-game stint in Triple-A was “like a jail” to the outfielder, as he tells Adam Zuvanich of the Miami Herald. The Marlins demoted Ozuna in July ostensibly due to his early-season struggles, though agent Scott Boras believed the Fish were keeping Ozuna in the minors to deny his client MLB service time and prevent his arbitration eligibility. “I know what happened when they sent me down. I knew that’s coming,” Ozuna said. “I don’t go there for work, because they know me. I don’t need the work. One for 36, 1 for 100, every big-league player has it. I have it and everybody has it.” Ozuna rejoined the Marlins this weekend after Christian Yelich went on the disabled list.
Here’s more from Miami and elsewhere around the NL East…
- Some in the Marlins front office want to keep Ozuna rather than explore trades for him this offseason, the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson reports, though “at least one prominent Marlins person is open” to moving the outfielder. Ozuna drew trade interest from several teams (including the Indians) prior to the deadline.
- Also from Jackson’s column, he writes that the Marlins want to wait until after the season to make their intended managerial change so that they know the full pool of candidates before making a decision. This will allow the team to include any current managers in their search should those skippers be fired; Jackson cites the Dodgers’ Don Mattingly as an example. Jackson adds that there’s no front-runner for the job, though previous managing experience will be an important criteria.
- Mets manager Terry Collins isn’t concerned about his contract status, telling Newsday’s Steven Marcus that he has “no idea” if the club will discuss an extension with him while the season is still going. “I’m telling you, I don’t think about it. I think about playing golf in November. That’s the only thing on my mind right now,” Collins said. Collins’ deal expires at the end of the season though the Mets hold an option on his services for 2016. A team spokesman tells Marcus that the Mets will “address [a possible extension] at the proper time,” which I would presume refers to after the season is over.
- Assuming the Mets make the postseason or fall just short, Matthew Cerrone of Metsblog.com suspects the team will exercise their 2016 option on Collins and extend his deal through the 2017 season. It would “border on disrespectful,” Cerrone feels, if the Mets didn’t have Collins extended before next Spring Training given how the skipper has exceeded expectations since being hired as somewhat of a transitional manager.
- The Mets need to acquire yet another bullpen arm to address their still-struggling relief corps, Joel Sherman of the New York Post opines.
- Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin admitted that it’s difficult to find playing time for trade candidate Chase Utley, as Andrew Gruman of MLB.com writes. “I mean, yeah, we like ’Ut’. It is an issue for me, because I have to try to play everybody, and the guys that deserve to play, like [Cesar] Hernandez and so forth, I want them to play. But I want Utley to play, too. It is not an easy task for me, but we’ll do what we can,” Mackanin said.
- Nationals assistant GM Doug Harris is profiled by James Wagner of the Washington Post. Harris oversees the club’s farm system and manages the Nats’ pro scouting department in addition to other duties, and is seen as a potential future general manager by many around baseball; just earlier today, the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo tabbed Harris as a contender to be the Brewers’ next GM.