Sometimes general managers will declare certain players off-limits. Less than they used to, but they still sometimes do it. I think, in their heart of hearts, all general managers will listen to any offer for any player because, hey, you never know when someone may do something dumb and offer you too much. That’s kind of what the Indians’ Chris Antonetti is doing with Shin-Soo Choo, Asdrubal Cabrera and others, Jon Heyman reports:
The Cleveland Indians, willing to discuss their biggest players in trades, could be one of the centers of trade activity here at the GM meetings. No less than four very good Indians players are already drawing calls — starter Justin Masterson, closer Chris Perez, outfielder Shin-Soo Choo and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. And Cleveland will listen.
Antonetti says he’s not looking to trade anyone, but that he’s being “open-minded” on it.
Choo, because he’s almost certain to walk when he hits free agency, is a good guy to shop. Perez, because he’s a quirky, outspoken closer and those guys have a shelf life of about 1.5 seasons, is another.
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.