Former Marlins outfielders Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich both requested to be traded as new ownership prepared to cut payroll. Stanton was traded to the Yankees and Yelich went to the Brewers. Dee Gordon was also traded to the Mariners and Marcell Ozuna to the Cardinals.
What’s left in Miami is a skeleton of what used to be a meaty roster. Veteran Martin Prado is now one of the most valuable players on the club, which FanGraphs is projecting to lose 97 games this season. Prado, though, doesn’t think Stanton and Yelich should’ve bailed on a team facing austerity. Via Clark Spencer and Andre C. Fernandez of the Miami Herald:
For me, it’s a little radical, just thinking of guys doing that. That’s why it just hurt me. Everybody’s got their way to think about trades, and where you’re going to play, and where you want to be. [But] I wasn’t allowed to speak until I got some time in.”
Prado added that he “respected” his former teammates’ decisions and added, “I’m not judging anybody. I love them. And we’re going to miss them.” But he’s totally judging.
Prado’s comments indicate the rather common incidence of players advocating against their own interests. Players having the leverage to demand trades — to hold teams accountable — is a good thing, as is conversely having a no-trade clause. Suggesting that players shut up until they “get some time in” is only doing ownership’s bidding for them. As we’ve seen, with the current labor strife, that’s been happening a lot lately. (And, by the way, Stanton has put “some time in” with eight seasons under his belt.)
The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Stanton is now on the Yankees, who are projected to win 91 games. He’s probably going to experience playoff baseball this year. Prado, entering his 13th season, has played in exactly one playoff game in his career: the infamous 2012 NL Wild Card game between the Braves and Cardinals, which his Braves lost. If he had been more of an advocate for himself, he might have earned a World Series ring at some point in the last decade.