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Marlins open to offers on Christian Yelich and J.T. Realmuto

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The Marlins continue to field offers for outfielder Christian Yelich and catcher J.T. Realmuto, per recent reports from MLB.com’s Jon Morosi and Joe Frisaro. As many as 12 teams have reportedly engaged in preliminary trade talks involving the two players, but the Marlins are prepared to hold out for the right deal — one that Frisaro says would require a “huge overpay.”

Yelich and Realmuto have publicly stated their desire to land elsewhere this winter, and given the current state of the team, it’s hard to blame them for seeking greener pastures. The Marlins, on the other hand, appear reluctant to jettison two valuable players with team-friendly contracts, especially now that shedding payroll is less of a priority than it was at the start of the offseason. Yelich is slated to earn $43.25 million through the 2021 season and carries a club option for 2022, while Realmuto is approaching three years of arbitration eligibility before he enters free agency in 2021.

It’s not inconceivable that the Marlins could begin to contend by the time Yelich and Realmuto are nearing the end of their contracts, but they have a long way to go in the rebuilding process first. Should they seriously entertain offers for the two, it makes sense that they’d focus on getting a prospect-heavy return to replenish their farm system, and Frisaro adds that the team seems highly unlikely to “water down” any potential trade proposals by throwing in right-hander Brad Ziegler ($9 million through 2018) or third baseman Martin Prado ($28.5 million through 2019) in order to shed an extra bit of payroll.

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.