There's already plenty of rumors circulating, plenty of instances of "PHI" being included in long lists of "potential trade candidates" and "landing spots" by baseball writers, plenty of eyebrow-twitching, finger-twiddling, and toe-curling taking place despite the offseason being in its infancy. My god, are we trading Ken Giles?
You know the old saying, "Philadelphia: Always Try to Eat the Scraps from Cleveland's Table."
I for one spent much of the 2015 preseason gushing about the Miami Marlins outfield. It was in everything I wrote: previews, reviews, birthday cards, Comcast bills, replies to spam emails. I couldn't stop myself. The idea of Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna, and Giancarlo Stanton occupying the same grass and lineup just seemed so promising, it was pretty much their presence alone that led me to name the Marlins 2015 NL East champions.
Looking back, this may have been one of those times my descriptions of future events became more and more grandiose each time I brought them up, which as I just explained, was all the time. At 25 years old, Ozuna was just one player on a Miami squad that didn't come through, but he is young and powerful and good, though his numbers (.259/.308/.383, 10 HR, 30 BB, 110 SO) dipped slightly this season from 2014 (most notably his power).
And how about this Phillies outfield of the future! It's got Aaron Altherr, Odubel Herrera, and Jeff Francoeur! Don't forget Nick Williams, a prospect my increasingly grandiose mentions of whom indicate I have learned nothing from my 2015 preseason Marlins debacle. The point is, he plays in the outfield. So chasing Ozuna probably wasn't predicted by a lot of Phillies people who monitor this sort of thing.
But the Phillies might believe they've stumbled into a bit of luck, as the Marlins are feeling a bit emotional regarding their outfielder right now. Ozuna's agent is bad guy from an '80s teen movie who escaped from a television and has been destroying athletes' careers with their teams ever since, Scott Boras, and the Marlins aren't happy with him over some comments he made about their management - namely, on the matter of whether Ozuna should have been sent to the minors for six weeks this season. Boras says that no, the player whom it is in his best interest to convey as "good," should not have been demoted. The Marlins disagreed; or even if they didn't, they can't change the past. Only Scott Boras and his slick black, puppy-liquefying time traveling device can do that. At the time of Ozuna's demotion, he was hitting .250/.292/.330, numbers that, as Beyond the Box Score put it, shouldn't rattle the kid's trade value.
ANYWAY, this has led to unrest; unrest, everywhere! Suddenly, "it wouldn't be shocking" if the Marlins just pushed Ozuna and the menacing, Scott Boras-shaped shadow cast over him onto somebody else, since they already don't want Boras involved in negotiations. As we can see ESPN's Cristian Moreno saying above, the Phillies are apparently totally into inserting themselves into this situation.
Matt Klentak Presents: The Outfield of the Future is still a work in progress, and while the team has outfielders, there is still a fair amount of measuring and guessing and finagling to take place. The potential acquisition of a hot young hitter is surely to be the first in many rumors including this team as it looks down multiple avenues through which it can rebuild itself.