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Rumor roundup: Marlins receiving interest about Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich

Nearly a dozen teams have made inquiries about one or both players.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Colorado Rockies Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

As the Marlins’ fire sale continues, and they rattle down the road toward their target of $55 million in salary commitments for 2018, outfielders Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna are the two names next up on the block.

As Winter Meetings heat up and deals come together, multiple teams are inquiring about Ozuna and Yelich. Reportedly, the Marlins are attempting to convince teams that they should give them assets for Ozuna first, then Yelich will be available. Ozuna is a free agent after the 2019 season, and Yelich isn’t a free agent until 2022, if whichever team he is on picks up his option.

At this point, teams are calling Miami’s bluff when it comes to who will be available first. If you believe both are going to be available eventually, as the New York Post’s Joel Sherman notes is the prevailing assumption, why would teams spend important assets going after one when another, more attractive, trade is waiting in the wings?

Whether the Marlins will break and stop with the “Ozuna must go first” charade or not, here are all the rumors swirling so far about who could help the Marlins out with their salary-dump needs.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Cardinals were the rumored leaders for Ozuna, but it wasn’t close to coming together officially yet according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Other teams that have made their interest known publicly include the Giants, Nationals, and Rangers, with a few other teams circling as of now — including the Jays and Rockies. FanRag’s Jon Heyman is reporting that the Marlins are attempting to dump Junichi Tazawa’s contract by attaching it to any Ozuna deal, which would go a long way toward their salary goals.

It would be a dumb move not to try and use Ozuna to get rid of another contract, and Tazawa is getting paid $7 million next year. Ozuna, meanwhile, is arbitration eligible, while Yelich is set to make over $44.5 million total through the remaining years on his contract.

The rumors surrounding Yelich aren’t quite as potent at this point, but Joe Frisaro of MLB.com says that if the Marlins are open to trading him (which, guys, they totally are) a minimum of 10 clubs are asking after him.

From here, it looks like Ozuna will be moved first -- to the Cardinals or someone else who could use an outfielder next year — and then everyone will participate in a Yelich feeding frenzy much more ardent than what is currently happening for Ozuna.

Hopefully the Marlins actually get some decent prospects back for this deal. They seem to be struggling with that this offseason.