Marcell Ozuna for Elias and ?
Maybe this should go in the KK Presentiment article



First of all, if the Mariners worked any kind of deal involving Marcell Ozuna and Roenis Elias, it would be the greatest called shot in Seattle sports history, and possibly in the history of the Milky Way galaxy.  

Chris Rose and Kevin Millar play this game nightly on MLB Network, trying to call specific players to specific teams.  They never do, but it's fun.  If one of them were to call an obscure player-for-player -- and this ain't a super obvious Cano/Ellsbury swap here -- then we viewers would never hear the end of it. I defy you to link me to any Seattle article, ever, that called a swap as specifically as Ozuna-for-Elias.  Heh, heh, HEHHH!

I forget who Bat picked out -- he said something like "I fancy Marcell Ozuna for Roenis Elias, and somebody, and somebody."  Maybe you could remind us Commander :- )


OKDan pointed out, in the Shout Box


And MLB Daily Dish followed up with the unbelievable tweet in the lead pic.  Just the fact that the Mariners are targeting Ozuna is way more than impressive enough for me.  If they were to pull the trigger (and beat out 29 other teams) that would be next level.  But to call the price ... :- )



SSI does not evaluate trades as though they were boxing matches.  Neither does Jerry DiPoto.  But here is Dr. D's happy factor

Roto Price Remark Would Dr. D do it
LO Paxton We presume the M's would get Ozuna and ? and ? OH NOOOOooooooo...
MID Karns Flipped Brad Miller for Marcell Ozuna Probably
HI Elias + Who wins the election, Bat? You wouldn't even see his hand move as he grabbed


If the Mariners give up Taijuan or K-Pax -- value is a push to me -- then hopefully they "throw in" Jose Fernandez as we throw in our org #1 prospect.  A little more seriously, who's their best reliever other than Ramos?  If we give up James Paxton in a Ozuna deal I'm going to become an Angels fan.

We'll give you a feel for it in the next section



OK, kiddies, take out a #2 pencil.  Which of the above players was a:

  • "Tweener" CF/RF who gives you a plus RF in Safeco, which needs a plus RF
  • 5-tool player who could run like an antelope and hit a ball 440 feet
  • A .250 AVG type guy with lots of K's
  • Slimed and devalued by his organization after a year of part-time play
  • Projected to a 110, 115 OPS+ or so
  • Projected to 2.5 WAR
  • Acknowledged to possess an All-Star 5 WAR upside
  • etc etc etc

Now you tell me:  do you miss Michael Saunders?  How MUCH, exactly?

So I'm not giving up my 1969 Johnny Bench Rookie Card for Marcell Ozuna OR Michael Saunders.  I'd like to have either one, though, if Jerry DiPoto's vision is to be implemented.



Ozuna backs the truck up several years and gives you another coin flip at Michael Saunders' chance for stardom.  And yes you would love to re-fllip that coin.

Cancelling that, Ozuna is a RIGHT hand batter with massive strikeouts.  Would much rather have a 25-year-old RF who batted left in Safeco -- and who had a shot at overcoming his K's against 75% platoon advantage pitching.

But yeah.



It does fit DiPoto's idea of, direct quote, "a more usable roster."  Miller and Ozuna are worth each other, but Miller's OF defense is (a) ugly and (b) theoretical.  Ozuna's OF defense is ... looking for the right term here ... usable, I guess.

But that's the thing.  If you give up ELIAS for Ozuna, you have done TWO things:

1) You have moved several yards towards morphing "a collection of talent" into "a ballclub," AND

2) You have seriously upgraded a young 5-6 starter into a young 3 starter.


So, that orients my thinking, at least.  The day's rumors have the M's out in front for Ozuna, and don't think the bidding isn't fierce.  If the M's give up Karns, that's a fair deal and it does implement DiPoto's plan coherently.  Coherency and consistency are everything to a chessplayer.  You can't lose sight of your Bansai tree just because you're standing out in the middle of the rain and wind.  He who imposes his vision, through all the distractions and temptations, wins.

Give up more than Karns, and Dr. D is bummed.  Give less, and he's jacked up.





It is so natural that the M's are in:

But then, I've talked about this before.

For Elias and stuff?  In a long as the stuff isn' tKivlehan or Pizzano.  I'm intrigued by Tyler Smith, too.  would swap him out.  Deej is a likely goner in the right deal (I get something else back)

Karns, straight up?  Well that really is a Miller for Ozuna swap and that's a pick 'em bet.

Paxton?  I'll pass (and perhaps wish I hadn't later) and get somebody that is Ozuna-lite.

Jeff (which sounds weird), this is better thand a redraw at the Saunders' deck.

Saunders has a career .702 vR and .640 vL (1329 and 626 PA's, respectively).  Ozuna is .706 and .808 (1115/282).  

Ozuna is Saunders equal vR (despite the platoon disadvantage) and kicks the snot out of him vL. 

I do not want to give up Kivlehan, as I'm convinced he's about to hit MLB thowers with authority (he's learned a bit of the Asian "pose"), but we need a 3-position OF and Ozuna is just that.  But if this is Elias for Ozuna, count me WAY in. 

I may name my next kid Dipoto if that happens.


I see we agree on the pitching win and loss scenarios bro.  You got honors on the next pitching reply.

On Ozuna vs Saunders' bat ... my mind is wide open there.  STILL don't know much about Ozuna.  Preferred method is to watch four games rather than to study numbers :- )

That said, Saunders' career OPS+ is 93 but his last 3 years he was 108, 106, and then 128 most recently.  That's not the end of the discussion, but ... probly we should use stats other than career on Saunders.


To me that would be just about fair.  Elias already IS a valuable ML starter, with a 7.7 / 3.5 / 1.0 slash line in 300- ML innings.  That's already a Edison Volquez, Edwin Jackson slash line and that's just Elias getting oriented.

You could easily see Elias as being where Gio Gonzalez was, right before his leap into stardom.


Not sure what window dressing the teams would add to each side, so that the pundits couldn't just analyze it mano-a-mano.  It would be a 2-for-3 or something.  But to me the deal is a fair one even steven.

So, yeah, would hate to add Kivlehan for a PTBNL type.  But certainly wouldn't shock.


My favorite "+" for Elias was Flores, who could have moved into LF for the Marlins, with Yelich moving to CF (which he has played when Ozuna was in RF due to Stanton's injuries) which would make Miami whole plus a young pitcher. Since that ship has sailed, I guess offering some really good, but not elite, lower-level talent might work. Ian Miller + Luis Liberato? Something along those lines. If I really thought it was the difference in getting a deal done, I'd offer both Elias and Montgomery (Miami is looking for 2 starters) and something besides (Guaipe or JRamirez) for Ozuna + maybe Chris Reed, a former Dodger 1st round pick LH who is a reliever that could be stashed at Tacoma for a rainy day, and maybe a well-regarded lower-level 'spect.

I do fear that similar logic will apply and the Marlins will want Kivlehan to be the LF in place of Flores. I'd try steering them to Romero, Robertson, or Blash instead. Kivlehan wouldn't be a deal-breaker (though I would rather trade DJ than him) but I'd sure like to keep him. Montero would be a legit offer if the Marlins were an AL club, but alas. But maybe Baltimore, if they lose out on Davis, will give the Ms Tyler Wilson for Montero. Perfect park for Jesus.

So, musing over, without Flores, I'd offer Elias, Romero, and Guaipe or JRamirez and hope they take it. Adding Montgomery, with them adding some pen spaghetti would be the fall back.If I thought Sipp was out of reach for the pen, I might ask for Mike Dunn, a LH reliever of similar experience to Sipp, but not the recent dominance.

Then, to finish my plan for JeDi's execution, I trade DJ + Marlette to Boston for Sam Travis and Sandy Leon. Everything else is signing FAs - 'Kuma and/or Chen, Lowe, Sipp, and Oh. If Karns is who goes to Miami, though, my yen for Chen AND 'Kuma goes up considerably.


Rather than Flores?

Great thing about Ozuna, he solves that "who's your backup CF" issue ...


Couldn't agree more, that if the "plus" includes players who are not in our plans, the deal is a Go.

  • Dealt for Ozuna
  • Dealt for Travis
  • Re-upped Iwakuma
  • The owners got excited and we signed Wei Yin Chen also (!?)
  • We added Lowe and Sipp and Oh

AND let's say the coaching staff really clicked with the players, we started 6-and-3, and everybody was fired up

THEN what's your expectation?  90 wins?  Aiming at 95+?  or ?

Win or lose, that ballclub is one I could root for.  Tell ya that much.


Though it has fluctuated quite a bit during his short career, the Steamer and B-ref prediction of a 21-22% K rate for Ozuna seems about right and not really that excessive - less than Saunders with a MUCH higher BA, for example. Saunders was my favorite Mariner, but I think Ozuna is a better player in proven performance terms, though maybe not as good a fit for Safeco. But looking at video, Saunders just looks better than Ozuna (and almost everyone else) doing all things Baseball. I was sad to lose him.


Like I sez I *still* haven't looked at Ozuna much.  No POTD's or Last Words or anything like that.  Just noodling.  So appreciate the back-and-forth.

Ozuna lifetime fans 155 times per 162 games.  For Saunders it's 144 times per 162, and in his 2014 season it was more like 120-130 times a year.  Saunders is lefty and (I assume) faster down to 1B.  The HR's are identical per game so far.

Ozuna's 'big' 2013 season, he fanned 164 times.  (Not to run down Ozuna; most players at age 23-24 are in the minors.)

Where are we getting the idea that Ozuna is headed for a higher AVG than Saunders (other than an Ozuna plateau leap)?  Question, not counter.


While I don't think any projection system tells it the way it will be, the *relative* projections are worth looking at.

Saunders - .245/.323/.411/.734 - 25% K - 10% BB - 0.4 WAR

Ozuna   -   .267/.318/.438/.756 - 21.8% K - 6.5% BB - 2.3 WAR

Obviously other projection systems will have other answers, but comparing age for age is instructive. At the age Ozuna was OPSing .772, Saunders was barely breaking .600 and K'ing 30% of the time.

I love Saunders and wish they hadn't traded him. But Ozuna has more upside on offer.


Ozuna has the club control.  And Ozuna has a good solid chance to do something big with his age 25-28 seasons.  And it's safe to presume that Ozuna is a level above with the mitt.

At the moment (going into 2016) they look like they have similar component (under-the-surface) skills.  But even a roto player would clearly go for Ozuna's shot at big seasons coming up.



jokestar's picture

I liked Saunders, but his problem has always been the fact that you can't count on him. That's why he was traded. All the stats on Saunders are worthless if he isn't on the field playing.


And comparing somebody to the 2014 Michael Saunders is definitely not an insult.

Just offering my own 'sense of proportion' (crowd rolls eyes) that Ozuna is a high-quality supplementary player, rather than a $150M free agent.  But of course that's all Bat had ever sold him as, a nice piece on a contending team.


Saunders' vR from '12-14:  .718, .751. 831

If you were to say that he's a .760 vR guy, going down the line (reasonable) then he clearly hs that advantage over Ozuna.

Fair enough.

Not Paxton.  Most probably not Karns.  Yep on Elias.  


In the Seahawks blog world one often sees a player exhibiting certain physical and football skills and attributes described as being “Seahawky.” What would you say was the equivalent JeDi player qualities/circumstances? Knowing zero about it, I took a quick look at the Fangraphs page on Ozuna and read through the mostly Roto articles mentioning him. Stat-speak gives me a headache (where is Spec to explain it?), but my fuzzy 30k foot takeaway is that this guy hits the ball really hard, a bunch of times to the opposite field, and hits fly balls a long way, and all of those metrics are elite level, and none of them fell significantly in 2015 even though his HR and SLG did. JeDi has said he likes buy-low opportunities after a bad year. Does Ozuna fit that bill? It will be interesting to see what JeDi is willing to pay for him.


My point all along ... he's a "fit". Not at any cost. The comparison of Elias' consistency and toughness with Ozuna's ability to do several things very well is the place I started. Elias and Flores looked to me like one of those "everybody wins" trades that even Loria would see as fair.

I'm not as sure now there's a trading "fit" though I still believe in the roster "fit". Ozuna's not a superstar, although he might make an All-Star team in a year when the team is successful. What he is might make the Ms from a contender-with-holes to a contender-with-few-holes.

But when the dust of "we won't take less than a 30-HR bat is worth" clears and the 20-HR bat with a lot of inconsistency remains, maybe there will be a deal there. But Paxton and Walker just don't make sense - but I also doubt any other club will offer someone even on the level with Elias.

Maybe Miami will see that and will look across to Tampa Bay and to Detroit and see that the M's have been pretty good at pitching development and their 4th and 5th starters are often pretty good. Maybe not. 

But Ozuna in Safeco, with Cano and Cruz and Marte, batting 5th or 6th, playing 100 G in RF and 40 G in CF, would be a mighty nice cog in a contending gear train. But Ozuna's ability to fulfill his promise is also predicated on what type of team he is on; he just seems like that kind of player. Much of the value he would provide would come from the value added of playing with Cano and Cruz. Put him on many other clubs and he might be a head case. So Miami selling him as a potential 30-HR lineup mainstay is disingenuous. I hope they realize that soon.


That first line, 3rd paragraph, is a showstopper.  +1

Your intel is always first-rate amigo but on Ozuna you've outdone yerself.  With this guy, underrated is the new overrated ...

wily mo's picture


for what it's worth, the origin of the MLB daily dish story appears to be this tweet from marlins beat writer clark spencer:

"And two pitchers the could be looking at are LH Roenis Elias and RH Nate Karns, per sources. "


note the "could" there, which has become an "are" in the dish tweet

to me this looks like the usual winter talking, e.g.

1) reports emerge that the mariners and marlins are talking about ozuna;

2) pre-existing information, it is known that the marlins want a pitcher for him;

3) people go "hmm, what pitchers do the mariners have"

4) next thing you know, names everywhere 



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