The discussion for the last two seasons has been the prospect of acquiring Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins. Every week, a potential trade scenario is presented on how Boston can tempt the Marlins to part with such a talent. I will now go to Stanton-lite: Marcell Ozuna.
Ozuna is a year younger than Stanton and, like Stanton, is a right-handed hitter. Stanton is a proven power commodity and Ozuna is not. Ozuna is also tied up for several years since his first year of arbitration is 2016. Stanton hits the market as a free agent in 2017.
Ozuna now has a slash line of .273/.318/.453 with 14 home runs and 49 RBI. Ozuna’s OBP is degraded by the usual suspect – not drawing many walks. Twenty-four after 86 games. Ozuna also has a 27.6% K rate attached to his batting statistics.
The Red Sox need a bat or two or three. Preferably a young bat, one with the potential to be a reasonable threat, and Ozuna does have that promise. Ozuna has a .183 ISO average. That is certainly not in the rarefied territory of Mike Trout, but it is fifth among all MLB centerfielders
What would it take to get Ozuna?
My assumption: you would have to overpay. You would overpay for the projected promise of home run numbers. You would have to overpay for his contract years. I would tend to gamble and hold Ozuna for a few years and either extend him or hope he continues to develop in the power departments, thus increasing his value. Convincing Marlins GM Dan Jennings would take some real negotiating.
Up front I would offer Jackie Bradley. Then add to the package. Would a Garin Cecchini and Brian Johnson be enough? As with any deal they are fluid and based on needs and how players received can be developed or flipped.
Ozuna is young and with youth comes developmental risk, but a powerful right-hand bat is the type of icing the Red Sox historically search out.