Josh Hamilton says he’s “never, ever” struggled this long

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Josh Hamilton went 0-for-4 yesterday and is now hitting .216 with a .657 OPS and 61 strikeouts through 56 games for the Angels.

Asked after his latest 0-for whether he’s gotten off to a slow start like this before Hamilton replied: “Never, ever–from the first time I picked up a ball to now, no.”

Hamilton also expressed confidence that he’ll get things turned around, telling Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com:

Take a poll of every player in this clubhouse and see if I’m going to come out of it or not. The proof is in what’s gone on in the past. I’ve struggled at times and always come out of it.

I’d actually be sort of fascinated to see the result of such a poll, if it were somehow possible to conduct it while getting truthful answers of course. Seems like a pretty good bet that at least a few of Hamilton’s new teammates are skeptical about him returning to the level that got him a five-year, $125 million contract from the Angels.

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.