The Nationals, Braves, and Phillies are all in the mix to trade for Marlins OF Christian Yelich and/or C J.T. Realmuto, reports Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.
The Braves made progress on a deal involving Yelich during the Winter Meetings, reports Mark Bowman of MLB.com, who says the Marlins slowed down talks at the time due to fan backlash, but that talks were always expected to resume.
The Marlins have been trying to use a deal for Yelich to also move Martin Prado and his two-year, $28 million contract, MetsBlog’s Matthew Cerrone wrote here Dec. 22.
The Marlins, who are dramatically cutting payroll under their new ownership group which is led by Derek Jeter, traded OF and 2017 MVP Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees, and traded OF Marcell Ozuna to the Cardinals last month.
Earlier in December, the Marlins traded 2B Dee Gordon to the Mariners, where he will be used as a center fielder.
Frisaro notes that in potential trades for Yelich and/or Realmuto, the Marlins could be interested in Nationals OF prospect Victor Robles, Phillies 1B/OF Rhys Hoskins, and Braves OF prospect Ronald Acuna.
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The Braves (No. 2) and Phillies (No. 6) have two of the best farm systems in baseball, according to MLB.com’s recent list, so they seemingly have the necessary talent to entice the Marlins. However, the Nationals, like the Mets, are viewed as having a farm system that is in the bottom 10 in baseball.
Nats OF prospect Victor Robles, like Braves OF prospect Ronald Acuna, is among the best prospects in all of baseball. In Amed Rosario, the Mets have a similarly-ranked prospect. However, it’s not known if the Marlins covet Rosario or if the Mets would move him in a deal for Yelich or Realmuto if it was possible.
Even if the Mets were willing to move Rosario and the Marlins had interest, the Mets’ lack of potential impact prospects beyond Rosario (especially in the higher levels of the minors) might mean they can’t put together the package necessary to entice the Marlins.
But it can’t hurt for the Mets to at least guage the Marlins’ interest here. Mets SS prospect Andres Gimenez is further away but highly thought of, and LHP Thomas Szapucki (who is recovering from Tommy John surgery) likely would’ve been a Top 100 prospect in baseball at this point had he not gotten hurt. 1B Peter Alonso should also have decent value.