New ownership would obviously lead to many changes for the Marlins, though it’s too early to speculate on what a possible sale of the team would mean for Marcell Ozuna’s long-term future in Miami, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro writes as part of a reader mailbag. It seemed as if Ozuna had fallen out of favor with Jeffrey Loria two years ago, though Ozuna wasn’t dealt in the 2015-16 offseason after much speculation. Ozuna delivered a solid season in 2016 and is off to a great start this year, hitting .319/.380/.595 with nine homers in his first 129 PA. Since Ozuna isn’t eligible for free agency until after the 2019 campaign, his future isn’t a pressing concern for whomever ends up running the Marlins, though an extension could be unlikely regardless since Ozuna is represented by Scott Boras. At the very least, the outfielder is lining himself up for a massive raise in his second year of arbitration eligibility after agreeing to a $3.5MM salary for 2017.
Here’s some more from around the big leagues…
- After two blown saves in as many days for Francisco Rodriguez, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus told reporters (including MLB.com’s Alex Espinoza) that the team is “going to have to have a discussion” about the closer role. Rodriguez has blown four saves in 11 opportunities this season, and his ERA ballooned to 8.49 after today’s ugly performance. K-Rod has seen a marked increase in hard contact this season (36.8%, as opposed to 29.2% last year) and he has lost a mile off his fastball from last season, now averaging 88.2mph on his heater. With that being said, there may also be some bad luck involved in Rodriguez’s poor start, such as a .405 BABIP, 29.3% grounder rate and 21.1% fly ball rate that all seem destined to eventually normalize. Set-up man Justin Wilson is off a very good start and could seem like the logical candidate to take over as closer if Rodriguez is indeed demoted. Be sure to check out @CloserNews (MLBTR’s affiliate Twitter feed) for all the latest updates on ninth-inning situations from around the majors.
- In other Tigers news, Ausmus told Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press and other media that J.D. Martinez could make his season debut next weekend. The slugging outfielder has been on the DL since suffering a Lisfranc sprain in Spring Training, and the Tigers announced today that Martinez will take the next step his minor league rehab process by moving from Class-A to Triple-A on Monday.
- The Rangers dropped to 13-19 after today’s loss to the Mariners, and if Texas can’t turn things around, Fangraphs’ Dave Cameron opines that Yu Darvish could be a major trade chip at the deadline. Darvish is only under contract through this season, though as Cameron notes, other rental starters dealt in recent years have still merited big returns, so the Rangers could look for something like the package the Tigers obtained from the Blue Jays for David Price in 2015. The Yankees and Cubs are best-equipped to afford this outlay of young talent (though it remains to be seen if Chicago will make another big deadline splash), with other teams like the Rockies, Astros and Red Sox also possible fits as trade partners.