The Marcell Ozuna Trade Disaster
Yeah…you probably knew this one was coming and at the time, it looked more like a very aggressive move for a high upside bat and not a trade that could haunt St. Louis forever. For all of his faults in recent years, Ozuna was a very, very highly prized bat back during the offseason after the 2017 offseason. So, the Cardinals struck a trade with the Marlins to nab him with St. Louis giving up Sandy Alcantara, Zac Gallen, Daniel Castano, and Magneuris Sierra.
It is not hyperbole to suggest that this trade has a strong argument as one of the worst trades in franchise history. Ignoring Sierra and Castano because they don’t really matter in this, losing Alcantara and Gallen for two mediocre years from Ozuna feels really, really bad right now especially given the state of the Cardinals’ rotation.
In the interest of fairness, the organization’s relationship with Gallen wasn’t great at the time and neither pitcher was considered to be an All-World talent per se. In fact, Gallen would be moved AGAIN in the trade that brought Jazz Chisholm to Miami. We’ll never know for sure how Alcantara and Gallen would have developed in the St. Louis farm system, but having both the 2022 Cy Young winner and one of the prohibitive favorites to win it in 2023 in the organization would be really nice.
Look, no front office is going to get every move right and the Cardinals are no exception. Hindsight analysis can often be pretty unfair, but it is the front office's job to make moves for the benefit of the organization. Sure, there have been good moves along the way and those should be lauded. However, it is impossible to ignore that these missteps have heavily contributed to St. Louis occupying the cellar of the NL Central this year.