ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Cardinals beat a Monday afternoon deadline to make a qualifying offer for free agent outfielder Marcell Ozuna, officially announcing it had extended the $17.8 million offer.
Ozuna just finished his walk year playing for the Cardinals on a 1-year, $12.25 million deal. Teams had until Monday afternoon to make a qualifying offer in order to retain the ability to receive a draft pick in the event Ozuna signs elsewhere.
We have tendered a qualifying offer to free-agent OF Marcell Ozuna.
Additionally, C Joe Hudson has elected to become a free-agent after being outrighted from the 40-man roster. pic.twitter.com/ZWr4RmLuOp
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) November 4, 2019
Players have 10 days to accept or reject the offer. Ozuna hit 29 home runs with 89 runs batted in in 2019 in his second season in St. Louis after being obtained from the Florida Marlins for a package of minor league prospects. Ozuna spoke often in 2019 of hoping to stay in the Cardinals organization. Our news partners at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch report that both sides will meet to find out “if a multi-year deal makes sense.”
The Cardinals have a muddled outfield situation regardless of what happens with Ozuna. Losing him would mean the club would need to find more power production in 2020.