Free agent outfielder Marcell Ozuna is “very unlikely” to accept the $17.8MM qualifying offer made to him by the Cardinals, reports MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. Ozuna was seen as one of the few recipients who could consider accepting the one-year deal, but Heyman suggests that there is a robust market for Ozuna’s services.
While it was perhaps never likely that Ozuna would take the qualifying offer to stick around in St. Louis for another year, he stood out as one of the ten QO recipients who could be a candidate to accept in lieu of entering the open market. Ozuna’s retractors might pin the outfielder as one of the hitters who could suffer most in baseball’s notoriously stingy free agency; as a solid but unspectacular hitter who won’t carry a lineup and who doesn’t stand out on defense, critics might put him in Mike Moustakas territory.
That’s not to say he doesn’t offer any value. Ozuna is just two years removed from a breakout season in Miami’s pitcher-friendly ballpark. While he’s no longer the Gold Glover he was in 2017, Ozuna still grades out solidly as a defensive outfielder. By free agent standards, he’s on the younger side, and there’s reason to believe that he’s capable of more than the .241/.328/.472 line he posted in his second year in St. Louis; his .382 expected wOBA far outclassed his actual .336 mark, suggesting that Ozuna’s true talent level is a notch above his Cardinals output.
Assuming that Ozuna indeed elects to hit free agency, it’s not a foregone conclusions that the 28-year-old will play in a new uniform next year. Ozuna has expressed his desire to remain with the Cardinals, and while the organization has been less steadfast in their interest, it has been recently reported that the two sides are prepared to discuss a multiyear contract. By virtue of extending the QO, the club has demonstrated a willingness to keep Ozuna at a considerable cost, but only for one year—we’ll see how far they’re willing to go on a multiyear commitment.
Otherwise, Ozuna will reach free agency for the first time with a compensatory draft pick attached to him. We’ve seen in recent years that this additional price has been a deterrent for mid-range free agents, and Ozuna’s market will no doubt take a hit as a result, though to what extent it’s not clear. Regardless of the draft pick, Ozuna has plenty of desirable qualities that should make him an attractive target to a flurry of clubs, like Heyman notes; MLBTR projects Ozuna to receive a three year, $45MM contract—while that’s a lower projection that other outlets, such a deal would still give Ozuna the second-highest payday among free agent corner outfielders (behind only Nick Castellanos).
Vandals Took The Handles
“…baseball’s notoriously stingy free agency..”
Haven’t seen that in years.
Let me get this straight……
An inconsistent position player that shows some power when he’s not slumping and is a total butcher in left field, is offered $17.8m a year but it appears he’s going to turn it down. If he doesn’t get more then that it’s because the owners are “stingy”?
Vandals Took The Handles
“Ozuna still grades out solidly as a defensive outfielder.”
Having watched him play the OF quite a bit, I rest my case about defensive stats being incredibly questionable.
They’re worse then the MPG ratings we’re supposed to get when we buy cars.
He had a DRS of 2 and a UZR of 5.7
That’s not gold glove stuff but its certainly not a butcher. With the bat he only had one bad month. That’s pretty baseball normal. I think the only one editorializing is you.
Obviously you didn’t watch him play much. Sometimes stats are not a catch-all (and Ozuna definitely doesn’t catch all).
Well… the stats include ALL of his plays and all of his games. A person shouldn’t need to “watch someone play much” to look at the stats. No one has a perfect defense rating.
Agree. Not only is his defensive play suspect, his arm is totally shot. He is a liability in left, particularly on balls hit towards the line. He can run, and his baserunning was quite good in 2019, but unfortunately that speed doesn’t translate to defense.
No, he is a pretty bad outfielder.
No one else fell off a fence and face planted trying to catch a misjudged fly ball. Cards need to move on from him
He can’t be a “total butcher” in the outfield. in my 2 years of following this site, I have learned that all NL outfielders are defensive wizards.
I think he is likely to be one of the last players signed this offseason. He appears to be looking for a big contract when corner outfielders are not at a premium. Having the compensation attached doesn’t help.
He isn’t going to get more than 17 a year
He is silly to not bet on himself for 1 year his bat speed is there he just isn’t a great fielder. I honestly believe the Cardinals are hoping he doesn’t take the QO and he signs with another team just so it opens the door to one of the younger players and or to put one of the other players in left (hint hint Carp).
Dmarcus- I hope that is a joke “put one of the other players in left (hint hint Carp)”
He can’t even throw it on a line from 3rd base. Can you imagine how bad he would be at this point in his career in the outfield? He was moved from the outfield when he first came up from the minors because of his arm, and now is arm is absolutely terrible (not to mention his range and lack Knox speed)
Lack of speed
This is a spring training experiment, they did this to Berkman maybe it would work with Carp too, they can get him some swings. In Left you don’t have to have a great arm as long as you hit the cutoffs Bader makes up for his lack of range all ins saying is it’s worth a shot to get him in the lineup.
If he leaves, then I expect the Cards to get Castellanos to replace him. However, for selfish reasons, I want to see Castellanos play for Colorado.
If castellanos went to the Rockies he’d hit 45doubles just at coors. And probably 15-20 triples. If he wasnt already on the Cubs the 2nd half of the season I’d want that too. Selfishly I want the Cubs to get him long term.
He should. Outside of will smith, he really should
Agreed, I think he will be disappointed with the offers he will get
3 years 45 mil
15 a year max is my thoughts
Vandals Took The Handles
Ozuna had medical problems during the off-season – maybe surgery, I don’t remember the specifics.
The Cardinals designed a rehab plan for him to use in the DR. He would not communicate with them, nor allow one of their reps to visit. Said he was doing fine on his own. Showed up in ST in very bad shape. Started the season poorly and was so-so till somewhere around the All-Star break. Had a very good end of the season.
Believe he and his agent have an inflated opinion of his worth and the interest in him. Quality organizations – of which the Cardinals are one – will take it year-to-year with a guy like this, so if they get burned their downside is limited to that year.
LOL. you really should look up stats before posting, oh I forgot you are some kind of traderumors scout with an eye for talent lol..
Ozuna’s 2019 OPS by month.
March/April .961 (yeah slow 10 hr 28 rbi OPS+154)
July IL broken fingers
Sept .622 (red hot finish OPS+ 69) lol
Report from the Dominican Republic, where John Mozeliak met with Marcell Ozuna yesterday…
Ozuna, according to Mozeliak, is “looking strong, working hard and will begin his throwing program in early February.”#STLCards are encouraged by his progress since shoulder surgery.
1:57 PM – Jan 29, 2019
Kinda blows your “Would not communicate with club” right out of water..
Only correct point was Ozuna showed up heavier weight then people wanted, and shoulder wasnt not game ready at start of ST.
Frankly I dont want guys coming off of injury to push so hard for game readiness at beginning of ST, peak at end of ST when REAL games start.
Vandals Took The Handles
Stand by what I wrote.
Mozeliak may have put a spin on it. Exec’s do.
Was in the St. Louis newspapers approaching ST. Additionally there were multiple stories in ST and early in the season that the Cardinals management was extremely upset at his condition and his approach to rehap. Said they were souring on offering him an extension (as they did Carpenter – and that was a mistake). Can add that Ozuna was not happy about the Cardinals dealings with him. The public posture of both sides was that it was in everyone’s interest to make the best of the situation.
The Cardinals did not extend an offer for additional years during the season, and are not doing so today. They’ll take him for one year – and that may be a ploy to get the draft choice.
If you think I’m making this up, email a Cardinals beat reporter. This was a big story and went on for months.
As for hitting early in the season – I followed the Cardinals and he was not. Period. There was talk of pulling him out of the line-up as the Cardinals started the season very poorly.
Vandals – you can just read this thread and see that Teuecelshunde is just seeking attention, and not actually here to contribute anything worthwhile. You are right. Ozuna was
It was reported that Ozuna was not willing to report or cooperate with the Cardinals program and wanted to do it on his own. The reason Mo was there was because of this.
Then explain his April production?
Sorry but you cant spin this to Ozuna got off to a slow start when baseball, reference, fangraphs, brooksbaseball, thebaseballcube, MLB.com all clearly show Ozuna getting off to a hot start.
FO wasn’t thrilled with Ozuna’s physical condition when ST started, but you are just making stuff up with the whole Ozuna wouldn’t communicate with team or follow teams shoulder rehab regiment. I am a Cardinal fan who follows the team year round, I listen to Goold’s podcast a& others, Goold is an honest no BS beat writer as there is in MLB. Yet Goold never described the situation in any way like you have.
When you cant even be honest about what the official stats show, then how do you have a shred of credibility when it comes to how FO & Ozuna’s relationship was last winter..
No it wasnt and you know it… Provide link with that news and I will say your correct
Nah IDC about the attention just dont like people posting such willfully dishonest garbage..
If you cant be bothered to look up basic stats that are there for everyone to see, then never back down from a clearly incorrect claim, you are a POS who will gaslight when confronted with facts just to try and avoid looking like your wrong..
Hey its ok to be wrong, no one is perfect here, but we all have a choice to be honest.. When you willingly choose to be dishonest, you deserve no quarter
“ This offseason the Cardinals have somewhat “called out” Marcell Ozuna, or least as much as you can stretch the meaning of the phrase “called out”. The Cardinals have basically stated they are not really sure what he is up to in his rehab – he has been home in the Dominican Republic doing his rehab on his own – but, per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch”
Mo’s statements, per Goold again:
“He’s going to spend the remainder of his offseason in the Dominican Republic, which is not ideal in terms of our medical staff being able to get a firm grasp of where he’s at. … Hopefully, I can get a sense of where he is. Candidly, with three weeks remaining before we go (to spring training), there’s not a lot you can do. He has promised me he will be ready, so I guess I’ll have to take him at his word.”
I don’t want him back with the Cardinal’s, never a big fan.
Why not? I don’t follow the Cards much. Was he slow in the outfield? Free swinger?
He is not a good outfielder. Dismiss the stats because the eye test would show you he misplays balls often that do not go as errors. He is a streaky hitter and has never regained his arm strength. I do think he will be better than his stats this year, but he would be better off to take the QO and prove he is worth more money.
That said, as a Cards fan I hope he doesn’t take the offer. Lane Thomas and Dylan Carlson seem to be ready and Tyler O’Neil proved he is an option.
Tell us how you perform eye test on OF from home on your tv?
Things like positioning and first step & route to ball are important but TV doesnt show any of these completely.
So it would be fair to say that trying to perform an eye test on a players fielding ability, that its pretty important to be able to see each step of each play that player is invovled in? Making judgments without 100% of the information available is fundamentally unsound.
Absolutely! Because they’re big league ready and already proven players in the big leagues.
I think as Cards fans we are putting a lot of pressure on Carlson myself I hope Ozuna takes the QO and Carlson can be a platoon OF until the Allstar break then a few trades and maybe he gets a shot everyday.
I’m with you. I never was a big fan of his.
So now no one pitches to Goldy. Line up is weak without Ozuna unless they Cards actually do something to replace his bet. Which they won’t. They will look internally.. smh
My question is who will play left field for the Cardinals next season? I think the Cards should let Ozuna walk in free agency.
Not a player worth giving up a draft pick for. Had some bad BABIP luck, but still hasn”t been an impact LF the last 2 years.
He’s had a few days to get feelers out there on the market. Dallas and Kimbrel had bigger offeres last year, but they wanted massively more than what they were offered. I still see a 3/42 or 4/55 in his future.
His defense is horrible. How he won a Gold Glove is beyond me. If national league had DH then I could see keeping him but……..
Another one for the March bucket. Get in there with Castallanos, Ozuna.
Castellanos doesn’t have draft picks tied to him. He will be more wanted, even though Ozuna probably is better
they have about the same value due to those facts, which is why neither will get the money they want.
Castellanos breaks 100 million this offseason. He’ll get the highest position player contract this year, amd it won’t even be close.
Besides Rendon. Don’t know how I forgot about him. Lol
(whew) Okay, that’s at least discussable!
Castellanos wont break 100mil
85/5 with an option for a 6th year. 17mil aav. Worth up to 102mil but only with that option and he’s a perfect fit for the cubs. They have almost 60mil coming off the books. They could easily get castellanos, ordizzi and 3 relievers. and still have money left over. That’s 60mil after arbitration contracts are signed. Bryant will get 19mil Baez, Contreas will get 12-15mil
At his age, Castellanos will wait til Spring training before taking under 100 million. I see it even more like 6/117. Someone will pay. Especially if they think they’re one bat or a couple of years away from competing and no draft pick compensation. Someone like the Giants can throw him in left, or Texas, among a few others.
A 4 year deal for him maybe 5th a option he will be 28 going into ST.
Castellanos will be signed before Christmas.
Shocking. He’ll go to tampa bay or somewhere he can dh. If not Arizona .maybe. Basically a non contender unless he can proof he’s been off peds for more than 2 season. Which is impossible
2/24. At most.
I can’t find anything on the interwebs about Ozuna using PEDs. When was this?
Hes never been attached to ped
He tripled his home runs and rbi totals and ina season in a half. The season he had 36 or 37 home runs. Barry Bonds was his hitting coach. coincidence? I dont think so. Other than A rod and jose Canseco bonds was the biggest user in baseball.
Ozuna was absolutely using. He had bonds as a coach so he knew how to evade a failed drug test
stan lee the manly
This is a completely ridiculous and baseless accusation. Ozuna’s statcast numbers have always supported higher power numbers, he hurt his shoulder and has been unable to duplicate the launch angle he used during that phenomenal season. He still hits the ball harder than pretty much anyone on baseball. You hit the ball harder it’s going to fly farther, he just doesn’t lift the ball like he used to.
Please take off your tin foil hat and let the gubmint ray cook your brain.
It’s almost done…..
That is a ridiculous statement Marlins ballpark is a hitters field he had protection of Stanton and Yelich so he got more fastballs to hit. Look at Ryan ludwicks numbers when he had Albert hitting behind him. That comment is irresponsible and slanderous.
dynamite drop in monty
This may be the dumbest thing I’ve ever read here. You should be ashamed
No, that was Cruz!
The Cardinals already have a plethora of Outfielders, and signing another Outfielder isn’t their most pressing need. Dylan Carlson is an unbelievable prospect that is already Major League ready for the Cardinals. I’d rather let Ozuna walk, and trade for Francisco Linder.
Just to let you know plethoras means a lot dearth means few. You sure you meant plethora ?
Yes a plethora Mikel. The Cardinals currently have Bader, ONeil, Fowler, Thomas, Martinez, Arozena, Edman and Carlson all projected to be options in the outfield next season and that’s without Ozuna in the mix.
He was trolling.
Don’t forget Justin Williams.
Did we just get a Three Amigos reference here?
Ozuna’s camp really believe they can command more than $75-mil for 4 or $90+ for 5? With a QO attached it doesn’t look good. Marcell, take the money and run for a year.
He should take it. Because he wont tet half of the QO on the open market
I believe he would draw a lot of interest in FA.. I could see CWS, TEX, and STL all offering multi year deals.
those are the only openings i see. few contenders need outfielders this year.
Right but he won’t get a multi-year contract with a $17MM+ AAV.
Doesn’t necessarily need that AAV if the total contract is well in excess. It’s always a gamble, but another average season will het him a lot less next season.
Personally I’d like to have CWS’s draft pick.
I’d love to keep him a Cardinals uniform another year. Much past that? I’m not so sure.
While it’s bantered about that the Cardinals have a bunch of outfielders that can play instead, I’d argue most of them are 4th outfielder types until Dylan Carlson is ready.
Having him hit cleanup another year would be beneficial. So would the ability to put someone in for him in the 7th inning or later for defense.
He’s going to get multiple years from someone. I don’t think the Cardinals are that team.
Spot on. ozuna for 1 year before carlson makes perfect sense. bader is s starting csliber CF if your corners can really hit. oneil is grichuk 2.0, Fowler is pretty average, thomas and arozarena need some chances, and thomas may not be ready. it’s a whole group of 3rd-4th outfielders.
O’Neil is overhyped his body type is going to see a lot of time on the IR if I was the front office I would be trying to move him and Martinez to replace Carlson and Thomas with
Like to see Ozuna waino retire saw were the Rockies were wanting to trade Gray I would like to see the cards pick up Gray and Dahl they have the young pitchers and right handed hittin of to get the trade done
If projections for Ozuna are correct I think he’s better off accepting the one year deal and playing himself into a bigger payday without the QO being attached next offseason
Are they retractors that belong to Ozuna? Maybe he performs surgery in the offseason.
Or are they retractors of Ozuna, somehow drawing him back?
Too tough to call.
He should take the offer,he’s going to be sorely disappointed
Giants will pay him.
He needs to take the QO, up his game in 2020, then hit the market without the draft compensation.
How in hell did Marcel win a GG? Serious question. I didnt see him much in 17, but what I saw in 19 was usually a disaster.
25 lbs lighter.
I’m predicting Indians or White Sox. Cards should try to sign Dickerson
Yes, Dickerson is under rated, he is a good player.
The White Sox need a RF who bats left-handed, not a LF who bats right-handed.
fowler would look good there. although I’d miss him. i think it’s like me and 2 other cardinals fans that like him.
I like Fowler at $6 mil per year not $20 mil
Ozuna was slender in 2017, some latin players have a hard time keeping the weight off.
Kinda like some white guys.
Hey! Don’t bring me into this.
I resemble that remark…
Birds will take the pick and let him walk. They are hamstrung by the poor Carpenter and Fowler deals. Not many can plausibly envision big trades or big FA signings. The redbirds FO has to appear to be trying so they likely will tinker around the edges and maybe take some flyers on aging/reclamation players. I would also expect a big pr push from the FO touting Goldy’s bounceback b/c of offseason work and comfort level w/ the org now that he is settled in, the impact their pipeline will make late in the season, and general young mlb player progression.
Got to capitalize on a new contract while on PEDs.
Would love to see him take the QO and then end up splitting so much time with other outfielders that his numbers go down and he doesn’t perform well.
Ozuna. Overrated. Lazy. Low baseball IQ. Poor defender. Bye.
Couldn’t agree more.
dynamite drop in monty
Wow you pulled out all the dog whistles at once
Cards won’t go above 3yrs $45mil… With a QO attached, not sure he’ll do as well anywhere else. He should take what the Cards offer
On the West Coast I dont see too many Card games, but when FA Ozuna is mentioned, MLB Network keeps showing the 2 defensive plays where he jumped on the wall hoping to snag a homer…only to have the non-homer ball bounce 10 feet in front of him. Now *that’s* entertainment. LOL.
the cuban solution
3/50, with a team option to push it to 4/70.
Ozuna wants to stay with the Cardinals but how much is he willing to leave on the table? They won’t be the highest bidder I’m confident in that
IMVHO, 4 yesrs for $56M He has a 3.4 per WAR over the past 4 seasons, with a floor of 2.2 in an injury year. Probably should be an AL team so they can transition him to DH in 2 years.
If he had any faith in his own ability to perform and stay in shape he would take the Qualifying Offer, reestablish his abilities and go back in the market next year without draft compensation attached.
I hope he goes elsewhere. He plays a horrible outfield. I cannot comprehend how he won a Gold Glove.
I could see them try and sign Corey Dickerson as a 4th OF and O’Neal the starting LF. I would trade Jose Martinez for a starter or reliever.
Baez in 18’ had negative defensive value according to one source but watching him he’s a beast. Ozuna has been the opposite if you watch him or Martinez play in the outfield you have to close your eyes and hope he makes the catch
All this talk about Ozuna and is he good, or is he bad? The weak link in the Cardinals outfield is Harrison Bader! I mean the guy hit like. 217 or something close! Bader has speed like few others but that speed is useless when you are reaching base once every 15 at bats! Center Field is the bigger problem for St. Louis!
From my Cardinal viewpoint Ozuna was worth the deal. He gave the middle of the lineup thump for a few years for a reasonable sum. The year before last he seemed to have an incredible number of plays of bouncers barely making it through or hits based on weird spins. This year was different. When he connected it was violent. He has the capability to issue lazers harder than just about anyone. His outfield play is justawful. I don’t know what metric could ever give him credit. His arm is horrific, his placement judgement terrible. I guess the positive is his reflexes. If the ball is there he may snag it. He is not a good outfielder. They lost very little in the trade. Sierra can’t hit AAA pitching, Alcantara is innings, albeit cheap innings, and Gallen is the same. Give O’Neil a chance to win it with Carlson as the wild card. 15 mill can be spent so much better than Ozuna. Add the draft pick and I hope to God he declines
Ozuna should just go back to Miami, where he was happier.
Really easy decision by birth parties to extend and decline the qualifying offer. Marcel will get a solid subtract elsewhere and STL will get that compensatory pick.
I could see him going to the White Sox. Either he or Castellanos could end up as the DH there.