3. Sign Marcell Ozuna to a 4-year, $68 million contract
So in a scenario where Seattle is trying to win in 2020, trading Mitch Haniger doesn’t make a lot of sense. He’s a good bet to get you 3-5 wins and trading him leaves open another outfield spot. If Seattle wanted to compete in 2020, they’d need to add an OF, and frankly a really good one too.
As of right now, the starting OF would be Haniger in RF, Mallex Smith in CF, and Kyle Lewis in LF. Can you see the issue? Smith is coming off a bad season at the plate and Lewis needs time in AAA to work on his contact issues. It isn’t an outfield that screams “above-average”.
Now, add Marcell Ozuna to left field and slot him anywhere between 2-6 in the lineup, and you’re starting to get somewhere. The 29-year-old LF is a pretty safe player who will provide league-average OBP, above-average power, and good contact skills to be a 110 wRC+ to go with good defense in LF.
He is likely to sit somewhere in the 2.5 WAR range, but Steamer projects him a 3.1 fWAR in 2020 and those 3 wins are critical for us to reach our goal. Adding 3 wins would get us around the 77 win mark, but also takes a good chunk out of our remaining $35 million budget, giving us roughly $17 million to find us 4-5 wins to reach our goal.
But Ozuna hit’s the ball really hard and is still young enough to provide his solid return for the length of the contract. There aren’t a ton of 3 win players running around that don’t cost $20 million per year or cost a small handful of useful prospects and Ozuna fills our biggest need.
Now, to find those last few wins to reach our goal.