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Marcell Ozuna declined the Cardinals’ Qualifying Offer - A Hunt and Peck

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To the surprise of no one.

League Championship Series - St Louis Cardinals v Washington Nationals - Game Four Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

As expected the Cardinals offered Marcell Ozuna a Qualifying Offer worth $17.8 million. As expected Marcell Ozuna declined the Cardinals’ Qualifying Offer. Though Ozuna is coming off solid, but unspectacular years, his potential will likely be too tempting to keep him from being one of the top names among free agent outfielders this offseason. His Statcast numbers show promise as well. Per MLB Trade Rumors:

Ozuna’s average exit velocity and hard-hit percentage were both in the 93rd percentile or better this year, suggesting that his current skill level will produce better results in the future.

This is something he and his agent appear to be showcasing. The New York Post has obtained a copy of booklet Ozuna’s representative is sending to teams. According to it the booklet is “chock full of analytically-fueled selling points”. Ozuna touts his .548 expected slugging percentage that is calculated from his average exit velocity of 91.8. The post compares Ozuna to Yoenis Cespedes, who signed a $110 million deal in 2016.

What does all this mean for the Cardinals? It is probably too early to tell, but it seems to mark the end of any indication that the Cardinals might pursue their free agent leftfielder. It seems likely Ozuna will be after a long-term deal and unlikely that the Cardinals would wish to offer one. If that is the case... well, at least we will always have this:

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