Many college baseball programs depend on former players who’ve gone on to do well financially to help them stay afloat as other sports get more attention and funding. Here in Minnesota, for instance, Twins reliever Glen Perkins donated $125,000 to help get the Gophers a new field after their old one basically fell apart.
Tim Hudson is the latest big leaguer to step up for his alma mater, donating $1 million to the Auburn baseball program. His donation will go specifically toward upgrading the clubhouse, which athletic director Jay Jacobs says “hasn’t been touched in 10 years” despite being “the most used place in the facility.”
Hudson starred for Auburn in the 1990s before being drafted by the A’s and has gone on to earn nearly $100 million in the big leagues.
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.