There was interest in Christian Yelich before Winter Meetings, but the Marlins pretended that they weren’t going to trade him. Then there was interest in him during the Winter Meetings, and they still held on to him (as has been the theme for this offseason beyond even the Marlins).
Now, it appears that they’ve set an actual asking price for Yelich, although that doesn’t necessarily mean they are ready to move him straightaway. But from multiple reports, it looks like Miami is back to listening about one of their last major trade chips. (J.T. Realmuto, your time will come ... we hope. We’re rooting for you!)
According to Ken Rosenthal’s latest in The Athletic, “one rival executive believes the Marlins would be justified in asking for three or four genuine assets” when it comes to a Yelich trade.
There are a few teams that could live up to that asking price, and a few others who might think they can talk the Marlins down a bit and send them a more reasonable mix of prospects (or just hope they can hilariously fleece the Marlins front office like the Yankees, Cardinals, and Mariners did already this offseason).
One of those teams is reportedly the Braves, who have more than enough quality prospects to swap and a new GM in Alex Anthopoulos who hasn’t been afraid to make moves in his first offseason in charge. As MLB.com’s Jon Morosi reports, the Braves have contacted the Marlins about a possible trade.
They aren’t the only ones however, with multiple other teams including the Dodgers, Padres, Diamondbacks, Giants, and Nationals all in the mix. Some of those are more legitimate contenders for Yelich than others right now — sorry, Giants — but they are all making their desires known on some level. Of that shortlist, the Dodgers have both the need and the prospect depth (as well as the need for a low-AAV addition because of their luxury tax avoidance strategies) to make this type of move happen.
Jon Heyman reports that Yelich is of interest to the Diamondbacks in case they lose center fielder A.J. Pollack to free agency next year. He also notes what many can see from afar, that the Giants don’t have the prospects the Marlins are probably asking for right now. Which is true of just about any trade they try to make this offseason. The cupboards are bare.
The Nationals, meanwhile, could be going after both Realmuto and Yelich in one package according to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro, which might lower the asking price for one or both by a smidge if they are shipped out of Florida together. That’s not based on any specific report, but more because the Marlins would totally get fleeced in that manner by a team who trying to combo-bonus a trade for multiple players.
With the Marlins dragging their feet on this, a deal doesn’t look like it’s getting done in the near future. But there’s movement, there’s interest, and there are definitely teams who can get it done.