Posted on January 10, 2018, by Bryan Zarpentine
The Miami Marlins have already traded away three of their core players this offseason, and they don’t appear to be done. Recent reports indicate that the Marlins are still willing to trade several players. More importantly, there are plenty of teams interested in acquiring several of their players. At the moment, the most likely player to be traded before spring training is outfielder Christian Yelich. Rumors indicate that Yelich has quite a few suitors. Here is a look at the teams most likely to land Yelich this offseason.
Blue Jays, 10%
If the Blue Jays are going to do compete in 2018, they need to add an impact bat to the lineup, and they have space in the outfield. Toronto doesn’t appear eager to sell pieces and rebuilt, so it looks like they’re going for it in 2018. That is why they have interests in Yelich. Unfortunately, the Blue Jays are lacking in quality prospects to get Yelich. However, they’ve been known to get creative when making trades.
If there’s a favorite for Yelich, it may actually be the Braves. New GM Alex Anthopoulos is not afraid to pull off blockbuster trades. Atlanta also has an excellent farm system, so meeting the cost for Yelich won’t be an issue if they’re motivated to pull off a trade. Yelich would also make a huge impact for a Braves team that’s hoping to take a big step forward in 2018.
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Milwaukee has been connected to a couple center fielders this offseason, despite having a talented outfield already in place. Remember, the Brewers fought tooth and nail with the Cubs last year and were also relevant in the wild-card race. There’s no doubt they see Yelich as a player who could get them over the hump and into the playoffs in 2018.
The Giants are almost guaranteed to make a major addition to their outfield this winter. They’ve been connected to several players, including J.D. Martinez, so it’s not a surprise that they’ve been connected to Yelich. Unfortunately for San Francisco, their farm system isn’t the best, so finding the prospects to pry Yelich from Miami could prove difficult.
The Nationals are another team that doesn’t necessarily need outfield help. However, they may see Yelich as a way to make a splash this winter. Washington also has to prepare for Bryce Harper leaving in free agency next winter. With Yelich on a team-friendly deal through 2021, Yelich could help in 2018 and help cushion the loss of Harper next winter.
The Padres are an interesting competition in the Yelich sweepstakes. They are still a couple years away from being competitive. However, Yelich is under team control for a few years and the Padres appear intent on making a big addition this winter. San Diego’s farm system is also loaded, so they have the pieces to pull off a trade.
The Phillies already made a splash this winter by signing Carlos Santana. But they could potentially trade one or two of their promising young outfielders in exchange for Yelich, who is a more established player. Trading for Yelich would put a cap on Philadelphia’s rebuilding efforts and make it known that they’re ready to compete.
Texas has been connected to several outfielders this winter, so they’ll definitely be interested in adding Yelich. Money-wise, Yelich may give the Rangers the most bang for their buck, as payroll definitely appears to be a consideration for them. Texas should also have the prospects needed to meet Miami’s asking price for Yelich.
White Sox, 5%
The White Sox are another odd team to have interest in Yelich. However, the fact that he is under contract for several years means that he could be a long-term asset for Chicago. Remember, the White Sox have an elite farm system after all the trades they’ve made in the past year. If they want Yelich, they have the prospects to make it happen.
The Field/No Trade, 5%
At this point, it’s hard to envision Yelich not being traded. The Marlins don’t have to force a trade. But there are so many teams interested, one of them figures to make Miami an offer they can’t refuse. Also, the price for Yelich will be so high that it’s unlikely that a team comes out of nowhere to trade for him.