Rosenthal: the Dbacks will be “major players” for Tanaka

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Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal writes that The Diamondbacks “cannot be ruled out as major players” for Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka.

The idea is that the Dbacks were already prepared to spend $140 million or more for Shin-Soo Choo and thus have that money available for other uses. Looking around the free agent market right now there aren’t a ton of other great uses of it and the Diamondbacks’ efforts to make a trade for a front line starter have gone nowhere.

Lots of teams have an interest in Tanaka, of course. Matching up that interest with a demonstrated need and, more importantly, a demonstrated willingness and ability to spend the money required is what matters. After reading Rosenthal’s piece, you get the feeling that maybe Arizona is a more serious player than others.

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.