Rafael Furcal “just not ready” for minor league rehab stint

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Rafael Furcal is four weeks into what was supposed to be a 4-6 week recovery from a broken left thumb, but manager Don Mattingly told Ken Gurnick of MLB.com that he “won’t be sent out on a minor-league rehab assignment until he’s able to swing right-handed without discomfort.”

According to Mattingly that means the earliest Furcal could see game action in the minors is Thursday or Friday, adding that “he’s just not ready.”

Furcal has been taking batting practice as a left-handed hitter for several days and fielded some ground balls yesterday, so the Dodgers are hopeful that any rehab assignment will be a brief one whenever he’s cleared to swing right-handed.

Jamey Carroll has done a solid job as the primary shortstop fill-in.

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.