Mike Leake does not know how to exchange merchandise

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That diversion program that Mike Leake’s lawyer is trying to get him into requires the participant to admit his guilt first.  In light of that, let’s hope that this report from a Cincinnati TV stadion (hat tip to Big League Stew) doesn’t represent Leake’s current talking points on the incident:

A reliable source tells me that Leake did indeed pay for T-shirts some time prior to yesterday’s episode. And only in the process of clumsily trying to exchange them, did he run afoul of, if not the law, then certainly the dictates of common sense.

Um, OK. I guess I could possibly buy the notion of someone being so clueless about how retail transactions go that he thinks you can simply walk in to a store and make an exchange without telling anyone.  But then again, I’m a pushover and I buy a lot of things I probably shouldn’t buy.

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.