The Miami Marlins are in the middle of an exodus. They may have baseballs best stable of prospects by the time they’re done dealing.
The Miami Marlins new ownership group made a loud and proud appearance at the 2017 Winter Meetings. They kicked off the festivities by trading MVP slugger Giancarlo Stanton. Then closed them out by trading Marcell Ozuna to the St. Louis Cardinals.
As a byproduct of parting ways with their franchise players, they’ve upset the ones that are still on the team. Christian Yelich isn’t happy. J.T. Realmuto has all but formally requested a trade. Neither of these hold contractual significance, but they don’t bode well.
If the Miami Marlins are compelled to trade these players, they might end up with the top farm system in all of baseball.
From worst-to-first in a way the casual fan couldn’t care less about. The Miami Marlins were a laughing stock in the farm system games a year ago. They’ve already made strides in improving that ranking this offseason.
Trading Christian Yelich and JT Realmuto could return as many as six or seven players that would rank among their MLB top 30.
There is little preventing the Marlins from making it happen. Yelich is on a team friendly contract that any team in baseball can afford, even Miami. Realmuto remains under team control and will earn somewhere between $20-30 million in arbitration over the next three years.
Neither of these players come with the defects that dinged the value of previous trade chips.
With Stanton, it was the onerous contract. With Ozuna, it was MLB super-villain Scott Boras hovering over his shoulder. Dee Gordon was a 30-year-old speedster locked into a long-term deal.
These two are young, cheap, and impact players with no “off-the-field” concerns.
Conversations to come
Christian Yelich is unhappy with the direction the team has taken. He signed his 7-year/$49.57 million contract with the Miami Marlins under vastly different circumstances than the present.
When he inked his deal, he was under the impression that he would be playing alongside Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, and Dee Gordon for the entirety of that contract. Instead, new ownership was forced to ship off bloated, back-loaded contracts from the Jeffery Loria era.
According to Jon Heyman, the Miami Marlins organization is going to touch base with Yelich later this week about the direction of the franchise. The goal is to gauge how interested he is in staying in Miami.
Regardless of what Miami chooses to do with Yelich or Realmuto, they find themselves in a good position. The team figures to lose close to 100 games in 2018.
Trading them could net Miami 10 players that rank in the MLB top 100. If they keep them, they have proven players that they can feel comfortable building around.