The Miami Marlins have had an … interesting … last couple weeks. The team parted ways with some of its best players. Dee Gordon, Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna all left as part of the club’s desire to decrease payroll. There’s still some talent left on the club, but it’s unclear whether those players still want to be in Miami.
Both Christian Yelich and J.T. Realmuto have made it clear they would prefer to be dealt from the Marlins as soon as possible. Yelich made his desire known shortly after Stanton was dealt. Yelich put out his trade request Monday.
Given the talent left around those guys, it’s no surprise they no longer want to be with the team. Unlike Stanton, however, it doesn’t look like they’ll get their way. General manager Michael Hill released a statement Monday afternoon, making it clear the team isn’t happy about players trying to force their way out of Miami.
Michael Hill of the #Marlins just issued this statement in response to an inquiry on Yelich and Realmuto. It reinforces the notion that the two players have zero leverage beyond being unhappy with the teardown in Miami. pic.twitter.com/VDfCYZJB3C
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) December 18, 2017
Hill doesn’t come out and specifically say Realmuto and Yelich will not be dealt, but he expresses displeasure at both players leaking their desire to leave to the media. As he states, the team views them as building blocks, and would prefer to initiate any trade conversation regarding anyone left on the team. In other words, we’ll determine whether you are traded. Not you.
It shouldn’t be a shock both sides feel this way. Yelich and Realmuto know the Marlins don’t plan on contending in the near future, so of course they want to go to a place where things look more optimistic.
On the Marlins side, they still have control over both guys for a number of years. Yelich is signed through at least 2021. Realmuto is under contract through 2020. Depending on how the Marlins draft, it’s conceivable they’ll be good again before both players are ready to leave.
The team could kickstart the rebuild by dealing both guys, though. Given their talent, cost and the years of control left on both players, Yelich and Realmuto could bring back significant prospect hauls.
There are legitimate arguments for both sides. Should the Marlins truly tear everything down in an effort to pick up more prospects, or do they keep some productive players to give the fans something to care about?
You can debate how the team should handle things going forward, but it’s probably not good that they’ve alienated their two best remaining players while they make that decision.
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