MLB Trade Grades: Revisiting Cardinals-Marlins Marcell Ozuna disaster

The St. Louis Cardinals should regret the Marcell Ozuna trade every day of the week.

Following the 2017 MLB season, the Cardinals were in desperate need of a dangerous bat in the middle of their order. Luckily for them, the Miami Marlins had three such bats, all of which were available on the trade market.

The two teams first discussed a trade for the best of the three: Giancarlo Stanton. But that trade didn’t go anywhere. So, the Cardinals took a step back and decided to discuss the breakout outfielder, Marcell Ozuna.

It was a tough trade for the Cardinals though. They had five pitching prospects that they didn’t want to part with. They eyed to keep Alex Reyes (No. 1), Luke Weaver (No. 3), Sandy Alcantara (No. 6), Jack Flaherty (No.8) and Dakota Hudson (No. 9).

Cardinals must regret Marcell Ozuna trade with Marlins

The Cardinals dealt outfielder Magneuris Sierra and pitchers Sandy Alcantara, Zac Gallen and Daniel Castano to the Marlins for All-Star outfielder Marcell Ozuna

At the time, it appeared as though the Cardinals had robbed the Marlins of an All-Star outfielder. The Cardinals got to keep four of their five most prized pitching prospects. Losing Alcantara, Gallen and Castano wasn’t a big deal for them, as they had a ton of pitching depth in the farm.

But that couldn’t have been more wrong.

Flash forward six years and Sandy Alcantara has already added a Cy Young to his collection while Zac Gallen is in serious competition for one in 2023 himself. Daniel Castano has shown some end of the rotation potential, while Magneuris Sierra has struggled to find his place in the MLB.

The trade looks even worse for St. Louis, as Ozuna would play two of his worst seasons in St. Louis, failing to make an All-Star game as a Cardinal.

The trade was a disaster for the Cards. They couldn’t have been more wrong about Ozuna and they failed to recognize the potential in Gallen and Alcantara.

On the bright side for the Cards, keeping Luke Weaver turned out to be the right decision. A few seasons later, Weaver would be the headliner of a package of prospects sent to the Diamondbacks for future NL MVP, Paul Goldschmidt.

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