The Miami Marlins might have two-thirds of their dynamic young outfield under control for the rest of the decade. But Ozuna, the third member of this trio, is a Scott Boras client. And Ozuna said Thursday that when he has talked with Boras about the merits of signing an extension, the agent told him: "Don’t hurry."
A day after news filtered through the Marlins’ clubhouse about Yelich’s pending seven-year, $49.5 million deal, Ozuna was asked how much he and Boras talk about the merits of signing a long-term deal to stick around Miami.
"We talk a lot," the Marlins’ 24-year-old center fielder said. "But he says, 'Don’t worry. Don’t worry. Don’t worry. Worry about how you hit and play the game. Don’t worry about your career and your money.'"
Ozuna, who reached the majors in 2013, said he has essentially placed this decision in the hands of Boras, whose younger clients rarely sign long-term contracts that would require them to give away free-agent years on the back end. Ozuna said that if Boras could negotiate "a good deal," he would agree.
"But if he say no, I can wait," he said.
Because Ozuna spent nearly a full season in the majors in 2013, he would qualify for arbitration as a Super-2 player next winter. So his earning power is about to rise considerably. He said he’d "heard from a couple of people" that going to arbitration is "good." So he’s more than happy to see where he stands a year from now.
"Let’s see what happens next year," he said. "I don’t have something in my head about arbitration. Go play the game, and that’s it. If I have a good season and we get a championship, that’s what I want. And see what happens."
Ozuna, Stanton and Yelich are often talked about as being possibly the best outfield in baseball. According to Baseball-Reference.com, the three combined for 8.1 Wins Above Replacement last season, the highest total by three starting outfielders for any team in the big leagues.
Yelich turned 23 over the winter, so he will now be under team control through his age-29 season. Stanton is only 25. And his new 13-year, $325 million deal means the Marlins would control his rights through 2028, unless he opts out after 2020.
"That’s good for them," Ozuna said. "I’m so happy for them."
Asked if his two outfield mates will now be paying for a lot of his meals, thanks to their newfound earning power, Ozuna laughed.
"Yeah," he said. "They have to."