Why trading Marcell Ozuna may be the best way to start Marlins rebuild

Miami Marlins’ Marcell Ozuna, center, is congratulated by teammates after he hit a home run scoring Christian Yelich during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Monday, May 8, 2017, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

The big-league Miami Marlins are plodding along with Major League Baseball’s second-lowest winning percentage, and the minor-league outfits are woefully short on prospects.

Add in their seemingly inevitable ownership change, and this franchise looks ripe for some cage-rattling trades. But who goes?

Marcell Ozuna is a logical candidate, according to Fox Sports, which ranks him sixth among the best baseball players who could be traded this summer.

“The Marlins are in free fall, and with a depleted farm system (perhaps the worst in baseball) they should highly consider making major moves to start a rebuild,” Dieter Kurtenbach wrote. “Giancarlo Stanton’s contract is too big to move, but Ozuna, who was sent to the minors in 2015 but was an All-Star last year and is playing even better this season, isn’t [too expensive] and that means he could be the big piece the Marlins move in an effort to reboot.”

Ozuna has been one of Miami’s few bright spots. The 26-year-old leads the club with 29 RBIs, shares the home run lead with Stanton at 11 and sits second among the starters with a .302 batting average.

Ozuna will not reach free agency until 2019 and seems highly unlikely to sign an extension any time before then as a Scott Boras client. While that allows the Marlins some time to figure things out, they may want to move on this sooner than later if they don’t think they’ll re-sign him. His price tag will only drop the closer he gets to the open market.

Marlins fan removes shirt before jumping in water to get baseball; does not get baseball

Yes, Polo Man, you deserve to be berated by your friend for taking off your shirt before jumping in the water to retrieve the baseball.

What’s more important — leaving an MLB game with a souvenir baseball or keeping your shirt and wallet dry?

Apparently, you can’t always do both.

One Marlins fan learned that the hard way during the fourth inning of Monday’s 4-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.

It all started when Miami’s red-hot Marcell Ozuna smoked Jake Odorizzi’s offering over the left-field fence and into the Clevelander Marlins Park.

There, a golf polo-wearing fan nearly snagged the home run ball on the fly, but it ricocheted into the pool. Polo Man really wanted the ball — but also to pursue it in a responsible manner. So, the wallet came out of his back pocket, the polo went over his head and into the water he went.

But by that time, two other fans had joined the chase. And neither one let the prospect of sitting through five more innings in a soaking wet shirt slow them down. After all, it’s not as if souvenir baseballs are routinely launched into the stands during every game. (Wink.)

Anyway, one of these shirt-wearing swimmers came away with the baseball.

All Polo Man had was a pair of wet jeans, two wasted chances for a free baseball, his own viral video and a life lesson on the cost of hesitation.