Oswalt's no-trade clause is becoming meaningless

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roy oswalt headshot astros.jpgIn the past couple of weeks we’ve heard Roy Oswalt say that he’d waive his no-trade clause to go “an organization that wants to win.”  They all want to win, of course, so that doesn’t say much. Neither, really, does Oswalt fielding questions about specific teams.  Oswalt is a nice young southern gentleman, so I’m sure he was taught that it was rude to disparage people in public. The Nats? Sure, why not. The Yankees? Can’t rule it out!  How about the Mets?

A player who is friendly with Roy Oswalt says
the Astros right-hander would “definitely” accept a trade to the Mets
if they remain in the playoff hunt. But the fact Oswalt is
still owed about $30 million through 2011 makes it extremely unlikely
the Mets would pursue him. The player who is friendly with
Oswalt said the right-hander likes the veteran fiber of the Mets.

Oswalt was long thought to prefer the National League and smaller cities closer to his offseason home down south. Now that he’s said OK to the Mets, the Yankees and the Nationals — more or less — none of that seems to apply. Or maybe he’s just saying that, yes, hypothetically he’d accept anything.  It seems, though, that the more reports like this we hear, the less meaningful they truly are.

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.