Cardinals: Looking back at the terrible Marcell Ozuna trade

ST LOUIS, MISSOURI - OCTOBER 12: Marcell Ozuna #23 of the St. Louis Cardinals reacts after striking out in the seventh inning of game two of the National League Championship Series against the Washington Nationals at Busch Stadium on October 12, 2019 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MISSOURI - OCTOBER 12: Marcell Ozuna #23 of the St. Louis Cardinals reacts after striking out in the seventh inning of game two of the National League Championship Series against the Washington Nationals at Busch Stadium on October 12, 2019 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
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Marcell Ozuna Cardinals
Marcell Ozuna #23 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits an RBI single against the Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

Marcell Ozuna fell off in St. Louis, and later in Atlanta

Ozuna’s two-year stint in St. Louis was pretty good, finishing with a .280/325/.433 line with 23 HR and 88 RBIs in his first season with St. Louis, and following that up with a .800 OPS, 29 HR, and 89 RBI in 2019. He was a welcomed addition to the lineup and gave them another thumper in the lineup that they had desperately needed.

St. Louis had originally agreed to a similar package with Miami for slugger Giancarlo Stanton, but Stanton vetoed the deal and was later moved to the Yankees. The Cardinals turned their attention to Ozuna in the days following hoping that his bat would provide a similar spark to their lineup. The Cardinals would let Ozuna walk in free agency after the 2019 season, which proved to be a wise move eventually.

While Ozuna’s bat was good for St. Louis, he was not the masher that the Cardinals had expected him to be. Ozuna was nowhere close to his .924 OPS from 2017. If St. Louis had not given up the level of prospects they did, or had a longer run of success with the Cardinals, the trade would not have been so bad.

Ozuna later went on to mash in the shortened pandemic season for Atlanta, but has run into trouble with domestic violence and a DUI in recent years. Although that is reason enough to not want Ozuna on your team, he has also declined greatly at the plate, with a .645 and .687 OPS in 2021 and 2022.

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