Jose Canseco is serious about making a comeback

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“He’s an extremely nice guy, very down to earth, and he knows the situation… He’s self-aware.”

What are “things probably no one else in the history of the world has said about Jose Canseco,” Alex?

Canseco is serious about making a comeback.  He has an agent and everything.  Adam Fusfeld has the story over at Business Insider this morning.  It’s well worth a read because it’s not Canseco himself talking. Instead it’s his agent, Nello Gamberdino, who is trying to land Canseco a job in Korea or Japan.  He has his work cut out for him:

“The main obstacle that I’ve had to get over as his agent is when you initially throw his name out there, people think it’s a joke. We’re trying to make it clear that, no, he’s not doing this as a publicity stunt; he’s doing this because he wants to play, he loves baseball, and he still feels he can contribute as a player. In this country where everyone has a second, third, and sometimes fourth chance at redemption, why can’t someone step up and help him? There are certainly guys in baseball that have done far worse than write a book.”

I don’t think the biggest obstacle is that people think Canseco is a joke. I think it’s the fact that he was below the Mendoza Line when he played in the independent leagues several years ago.  Baseball will forgive many sins.  If Canseco was younger and could still hit, he likely would have even been forgiven for his steroids books by now.  But he’s 46 and there’s no reasonable expectation that he can can contribute to competitive baseball any longer. And even if he could still play, Asian baseball leagues don’t do non-conformity and celebrity very well.

Good luck in your future endeavors, Mr. Canseco, but I think you’re far more likely to be drawing your major league pension than a check for actually playing baseball in the future.

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.