LaRoche hasn't heard from Braves

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adam laroche.jpgAdam LaRoche batted .325/.401/.557
with 12 home runs, 40 RBI and a .957 OPS in 212 at-bats after being
scooped up from the Red Sox on July 31, playing a huge part in the
Braves’ late playoff run. Sure, we’re all accustomed to LaRoche’s
second-half surges — .909 OPS lifetime, as opposed to .773 before the
All-Star break — but his strong performance down the stretch hasn’t
given general manager Frank Wren
much of a sense of urgency to bring him back:



“No talk from ATL that I know of. Guess I should have hit .400 while I was there.”



Tough words by LaRoche. So, what’s
the deal? Well, for starters, LaRoche reportedly wants a three-year
contract worth more than $7.05 million annually. Also, the Braves have
2007 second-round pick Freddie Freeman shooting up their minor league
system. Freeman, 20, has a .294/.356/.452 line over his first two
professional seasons and was recently ranked as the team’s No. 2
prospect
by Baseball America. The sides may find a one-year compromise later, but there’s no reason to commit to an expensive mutli-year deal with a younger and far cheaper player on the rise.

Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto reportedly asks to be traded

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Craig Mish of MLB Network Radio is reporting that Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto has requested a trade out of Miami. Jon Heyman is characterizing it as Realmuto telling the team that he “wouldn’t mind” a trade.

Either way, Realmuto has no power to force a trade. This isn’t the NBA or something. Still, it’s evidence of just how dreary a prospect remaining in Miami is for Marlins veterans in the wake of trades that sent Giancarlo Stanton to New York, Marcell Ozuna to St. Louis.

Realmuto, who will turn 27 just before the 2018 season, hit .278/.332/.451 with 17 homers, 65 RBI, and eight steals over 141 games this past season. He only has three years of service time and is arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason. He made just $562K in the 2017 and will get a big raise this year, but he’s still going to be underpaid based on his production. If the Marlins wanted to trade him, they’d get a nice return. Why they would want to trade him, I have no idea.

Expect more of this sort of thing as the Marlins slash payroll and make it clear that their immediate priorities are more about saving money and less about winning baseball games. Which may or may not be a valid goal for the team’s new owners, but is certainly a letdown for baseball players and fans.