Sometimes our view from afar becomes too staid in our own world of Braves Country. It is therefore helpful to get the perspective from others closer to ‘ground zero’… and today we do just that.
A few days ago, I asked our friends over at MarlinManiac.com a few questions about the Atlanta Braves, Christian Yelich, J.T. Realmuto, and what might constitute an acceptable deal for their remaining star players… even come from other teams ‘not from around here’. Here’s what they had to say:
TomahawkTake: Do you think that the comments attributed to Christian Yelich about an “irretrievably broken” relationship with the Marlins actually increase the chances of a deal – to some club – before the season begins?
MarlinManiac: Yes. Keep in mind, Yelich already had one foot out the door around the time of the Winter Meetings when he learned Stanton and Ozuna were going to be traded. In my opinion, this recent development is the behind the scenes tension boiling over into the media at the hand of Yelich’s agent (Joe Longo) to expedite the process of Yelich’s departure, in order to find a new home before spring training starts.
In other words, these comments from his agent are a subtle explanation to the fans and media that “Hey it’s not us [Longo and Yelich]…this is all on management for mishandling a player.”
The response from the Marlins organization will be to deal him to avoid this distraction spilling over into the season.
TT: Based on your reading of the market, which teams do you believe are:
(a) the “most in” on Yelich or Realmuto, and/or…
(b) actually have prospects of interest to the Marlins that could make a deal happen?
MM: I think the market for Realmuto isn’t as clear yet, nor the asking price. So, I’m going to focus on Yelich for the time being.
Teams I see inquiring about Yelich: Toronto Blue Jays, Atlanta Braves, Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies and San Diego Padres.
A sleeper team to look out for: Kansas City Royals
From afar, I don’t see the Diamondbacks nor the Dodgers being serious contenders. I don’t like the pieces from the Diamondbacks, and I think the Dodgers’ interest in Yelich is lukewarm, with no interest in paying a potential hefty price. I think the Dodgers are more focused on the 2018-2019 free agent class.
The Royals may be aggressive if they lose Lorenzo Cain, and Yelich is a cheap option for Kansas City – a team that doesn’t historically spend a lot of money.
I like the Blue Jays and Braves as serious contenders.
For the Blue Jays, I think a package of Anthony Alford (OF)/Nate Pearson (RHP), Logan Warmoth (SS)/Ryan Borucki (LHP) and a second-tier prospect can give the Marlins a solid trio in return. (I got these names from baseballamerica.com).
The Braves don’t necessarily have to give up Ronald Acuna, but I think the Marlins must ask for one of Atlanta’s talented righties: Kyle Wright, Mike Soroka or Ian Anderson. If Atlanta can agree to one of those pitchers and adds Austin Riley (3B), Travis Demeritte (INF) or Drew Waters (OF), then the deal is pretty much sealed.