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.