By Matt Johnson
on Wednesday, December 13th
The first big deal of MLB's Winter Meetings came down on Wednesday morning. The Miami Marlins traded outfielder Marcell Ozuna to the St. Louis Cardinals for a package of prospects, SiriusXM's Craig Mish first reported completion of the deal.
St. Louis wanted to add a big bat this offseason and upgrade its corner outfield, Ozuna does just that. In 159 games last season, Ozuna posted a .312/.376/.548 slash line with a .388 wOBA, 142 wRC+ and 37 home runs. He also set career-highs in RBIs (124), runs scored (93)
Amongst his peers, Ozuna finished third in FanGraphs' Wins Above Replacement (4.8), second in WRC+ (142) and received the Rawlings' Gold Glove for the 2017 season.
Now the Cardinals will boast two of the best corner outfielders from the 2017 season. Tommy Pham led all MLB left fielders in fWAR (5.9), wRC+ (148), walk percentage (13.4) and finished last season as a member of the 20-20 club with 23 home runs and 25 stolen bases.
In terms of contract control, Ozuna will be a Cardinal for the next two seasons. He is arbitration eligible for the 2018 and 2019 seasons, though St. Louis could look to open extension talks with him.
At this time, Miami's return for Stanton is unknown. But it's now clear Miami's new front office is focused entirely on rebuilding the entire team and trading away its assets.
Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan reported after the Ozuna trade that Miami is telling teams Yelich is now in play for deals, though he'll cost even more than Ozuna given the greater years of contract control. Miami botched the Giancarlo Stanton situation, but trading away the now players and rebuilding the league's worst farm system is best for the future