Marcell Ozuna Trade Rumors: Cardinals Reportedly Favorite to Land Marlins OF

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 12, 2017

Miami Marlins' Marcell Ozuna in action during the second baseball game in a doubleheader against the Philadelphia Phillies, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)
Derik Hamilton/Associated Press

The St. Louis Cardinals have reportedly emerged as the favorites to acquire outfielder Marcell Ozuna in a trade with the Miami Marlins, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today

Nightengale added Tuesday that no decision has been made yet regarding whether a deal between the two sides will come to fruition.

Rumors of the Cards pursuing Ozuna come just one day after the Marlins finalized the trade that sent outfielder and reigning National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton to the New York Yankees.

Stanton rejected trades to both the San Francisco Giants and Cardinals, saying "That just wasn't the fit for me," per Mike Oz of Yahoo Sports.

While Ozuna doesn't quite measure up to Stanton and the 59 homers he blasted in 2017, the 27-year-old Dominican Republic native had a career year in his own right last season.

Ozuna set personal bests across the board by hitting .312 with 37 home runs and 124 RBI as Stanton's primary protection in the batting order.

In five MLB seasons, Ozuna is a two-time All-Star with a .277 career batting average, 96 home runs and 361 RBI. He also won a Gold Glove in 2017.

The Cards finished 83-79 last season, missing out on the second NL Wild Card spot by four games behind the Colorado Rockies.

They ranked 13th in runs scored and 18th in home runs, meaning they could use a middle-of-the-order run producer like Ozuna in their lineup.

He would likely displace Stephen Piscotty as a starting outfielder in St. Louis alongside Dexter Fowler and Tommy Pham.

In addition to Ozuna, Nightengale reported the Cards are among the teams interested in trading for Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado, who can become a free agent next offseason.

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