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The Marlins are asking for a lot for Christian Yelich. For now.

Thursday’s Say Hey, Baseball looks at the latest Christian Yelich rumor, involving the Braves.

Atlanta Braves v Miami Marlins Photo by Rob Foldy/Miami Marlins via Getty Images

The Marlins traded Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees for prospects whose names don’t even need to be mentioned here because you’ll forget who they are five minutes later, anyway. Miami did a little better with trading Marcell Ozuna to the Cardinals, but still didn’t manage to even bring back a single top-100 prospect, so again, I’m not going to bother looking up their names for you.

This time, though, with Christian Yelich, the Marlins are definitely clamping down and not just hoping you’ll forget about the awful trades they’ve already made this winter.

Peter Gammons reported the Marlins asked the Braves for top prospect Ronald Acuna in exchange for Yelich. I absolutely believe Gammons’ report the Marlins had this ask, but I do not believe for a second this is their expectation for an actual Yelich return.

The Marlins appeared blindsided by just how angry fan and media reaction was to their giving up Stanton in a salary dump and a star like Ozuna for non-elite prospects. Making it known that they’re asking for a lot for Yelich and aren’t just going to give up J.T. Realmuto — who, like Yelich, also wants out of Miami — is their way of distancing themselves from their very recent and very public mistakes on the trade market.

Yelich is under contract through 2021 with a $15 million option for 2022. The Marlins don’t need to trade him in January, not when they can deal him in June or July to a team that’s ready to admit they probably should have signed extra outfield help over the offseason. Of course, since they will likely be able to get Yelich at a discount with the Marlins eager to ship him out before his salary climbs any further — he’s at $7 million in 2018, then $9.75M, $12.5M, and $14M — those teams aren’t going to have to admit they should have done anything differently.

Remember, too, Yelich could serve as the Marlins’ way out from one or more of the contracts they regret having around. If Wei-Yin Chen — who is owed another $52 million over the next three years — has a solid start to 2018 and his elbow isn’t an issue, and he’s packaged with Yelich for a very limited return in order to get his deal out of town, well... then there would be no mystery as to why the Marlins aren’t rushing to move Yelich like they did Ozuna.

Maybe you have a more charitable view of the Marlins’ plans. It’s fair to wonder why you do, though. No, seriously, what goodwill do Marlins’ employees past and present have to cash in here in this moment? Maybe I’m just being cynical, but it sure feels like the new ownership group has earned this skepticism already.

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