Red Sox should pursue a trade for outfielder Marcell Ozuna

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 20: Marcell Ozuna
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 20: Marcell Ozuna /

Most Red Sox fans are clamoring for a blockbuster deal with the Marlins. But maybe they should chase Marcell Ozuna instead.

Despite winning the AL East for a second consecutive season, it appears as if the Boston Red Sox are on a collision course for a face-lift to their offense.

We all know the Red Sox finished last in the AL in home runs this season. Dave Dombrowski is ready to change that.

In an off-season when the Sox are likely to target JD Martinez, Eric Hosmer, and maybe Giancarlo Stanton, there is one slugger not on that list.

We know for sure the Marlins are going to have a fire sale this off-season. Stanton, Dee Gordon, and Martin Prado are all going to be shopped per Buster Olney of ESPN. But as Olney stated in that tweet, Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna are not available “for now.”

But anybody is available for the right price.

The Red Sox should make it a priority to acquire Ozuna this offseason. Ozuna who is entering his age 27 season, is under club control till 2020, hence the reason the Marlins want to keep him.

Should the Marlins not be able to fetch a deal that gives them max value for Stanton, Ozuna could likely be an enticing piece. The Marlins will almost assuredly have to eat some of the Stanton deal, but Ozuna could fetch them top dollar in a trade.

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Ozuna is coming off of the best year of his career. Last season he slashed .312/.376/.548 with 37 home runs. He also had an OPS+ of 145. To go with those 37 homers, Ozuna also had 30 doubles. He also drove in 124 RBI’s for the Miami Marlins.

Ozuna finished with a WAR of 5.8, which is better than his old career high of 4.5. So by all metrics, Ozuna had the best season of his career so far.

Ozuna, who is an everyday outfielder, could cause an issue for the Sox defensively.

This has nothing to do with his defense, Ozuna is a fine defender. He ranked 41st in the MLB among all fielders in UZR. But it is where Ozuna will play that will be the issue.

The Red Sox are not trading Andrew Benintendi or Mookie Betts for Ozuna. Not going to happen, period, end of discussion. But there are many people who would be willing to sacrifice Jackie Bradley Jr‘s defense for Ozuna’s bat. The Red Sox, at the moment, already have three center fielders. The Sox could trade Bradley and another higher tier prospect, and that should get the job done.

But should the Red Sox strike out on J.D. Martinez, trading for Ozuna could make even more sense.

Martinez, if signed by the Sox, is the likely choice to play DH, with Hanley Ramirez moving back to first. If the Red Sox cannot get Martinez, they could easily keep Ramirez at first, and get Ozuna to be a DH. He is a right-hander, that can hit towering shots over the Green Monster onto the Mass Pike. He is a natural fit in Fenway Park.

If the Sox were to get Ozuna to DH, they could keep Bradley, and trade Eduardo Rodriguez. Rodriguez is a young pitcher who may not have a spot in the rotation this year with David Price and Steven Wright coming back. And with the tragic death of Jose Fernandez in 2016, the Marlins are starving for young pitching.

The Red Sox have a myriad of options they could put together. The thing is, if they really want Stanton, they will get him. Or if they really want Ozuna, they will get him. When Dave Dombrowski wants somebody, he rarely misses.

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Dombrowski has done a fine job of bringing in pitchers, it is now time for him to bring in the big bat. And he should look no further than Marcell Ozuna.