Michael Young trade rumors refuse to die, get resuscitated by Buster Olney

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Rangers president Nolan Ryan appeared to put the seemingly never-ending Michael Young trade speculation to rest last week by saying Young “is going to be our designated hitter on Opening Day,” but now Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that Texas has “recently continued to explore a possible trade.”

And, like the previous 1,000 stories about Young being on or off the trade market, Olney pegs the Rockies as the most likely landing spot. I’m not sure what, if anything, has changed since last week or last month (or last year, since this all started at the winter meetings in December), but the likelihood of Young actually being traded continues to depend on how much of his remaining contract the Rangers are willing to eat.

Young is owed $16 million in each of the next three seasons, so unless the Rangers take back a similarly unwanted contract as part of the swap they’d presumably have to cover at least $20 million or so of that $48 million. Right now Young is slated to be the Rangers’ primary designated hitter, with plans to use him as a super utility man when needed.

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.