The Marlins are entertaining offers for outfielder Marcell Ozuna, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports. Ozuna has reportedly drawn interest from the Athletics and Cardinals this offseason, with the latter expected to make a bigger push after losing out on Giancarlo Stanton.
Ozuna, 27, is coming off of his second consecutive All-Star run with the Marlins. He racked up a career-high 4.8 fWAR in 2017, slashing .312/.376/.548 with 37 home runs in 679 PA and tying Cody Bellinger and Charlie Blackmon for third-most homers in the National League. While he may not reach Giancarlo Stanton-levels of production, he’s no poor man’s slugger, and could certainly help supplement a Cardinals offense that ranked fifth-best among all NL teams in 2017.
Ozuna isn’t the only one attracting interest in the wake of Stanton’s flip to the Yankees; ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick also speculates that the Marlins could move outfielder Christian Yelich, though they plan to sit tight on newly-acquired second baseman Starlin Castro until the right offer comes along. The Cardinals may have a leg up on negotiations for Ozuna and Yelich, as they already pitched the Marlins on several of their top-shelf prospects last week.
The owners meetings are going on in Arlington, Texas right now and something unusual is happening: the owners are using police to shield them from reporters seeking comment.
Chandler Rome, the Astros beat writer for the Houston Chronicle, attempted to talk to Astros owner Jim Crane at the hotel in which the meetings are taking place. Which makes sense because, duh, Rome covers the Astros and, if you haven’t noticed, the Astros are in the news lately.
Here’s how it went:
This was confirmed by other reporters:
To be clear: this is a radically different way things have ever been handled at MLB meetings of any kind. Reporters — who are credentialed specifically for these meetings at this location, they’re not just showing up — approach the GMs or the owners or whoever as they walk in the public parts of the hotel in which they’re held or in the areas designated for press conferences. It’s not contentious. Usually the figures of interest will stop and talk a bit then move on. If they don’t want to talk they just keep walking, often offering apologies or an excuse about being late for something and say they’ll be available later. It’s chill as far as reporters vs. the powerful tend to go.
But apparently not today. Not at the owners meetings. Now police — who are apparently off duty on contract security, but armed and in full official uniform — are shielding The Lords of Baseball from scrutiny.
We live in interesting times.