The Miami Marlins held two big trade pieces in the winter of 2017.
Usually, the team acquiring the star is the one that ends up winning the deal because prospects are, generally, erratic and volatile.
However, the Marlins scouting department did a great job back then and identified two legitimate Cy Young candidates in the return package for Ozuna.
“This doesn’t get talked about enough as potentially one of the worst trades in MLB history: To STL: Marcell Ozuna. To MIA: Sandy Alcantara, Zac Gallen, Magneuris Sierra, Daniel Castano. Cardinals are WS favorites right now if you plug Alcantara and Gallen into that rotation,” MLB columnist Joel Reuter tweeted.
This doesn’t get talked about enough as potentially one of the worst trades in MLB history:
To STL: Marcell Ozuna
To MIA: Sandy Alcantara, Zac Gallen, Magneuris Sierra, Daniel Castano
Cardinals are WS favorites right now if you plug Alcantara and Gallen into that rotation.
— Joel Reuter (@JoelReuterBR) January 12, 2023
Ozuna wasn’t bad for the Cardinals, but he wasn’t a star either.
He did hit 52 home runs in two seasons and accumulated 4.7 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) between 2018 and 2019.
He then left as a free agent and had an explosive 2020 with the Atlanta Braves.
His career fell off a cliff in 2021 and 2022, with a domestic violence incident included.
On the other hand, the Marlins took advantage of Alcantara and Gallen.
The former just won the Cy Young award in the National League, and the latter was a strong candidate.
Gallen is currently on the Arizona Diamondbacks, because Miami traded him there in exchange for stud infielder Jazz Chisholm Jr.
The Marlins got two young stars in exchange for a veteran player two years away from free agency.
Kudos to them.