A player without a no-trade clause cannot dictate where he’s traded if his team decides to pull the trigger. But a player without a no-trade clause (or with one, for that matter) can certainly make waves in the opposite situation: trade me somewhere, anywhere, please and thanks or I’ll kick your neck.
I don’t know that he’s made any neck-related threats yet, but it’s quite clear that Miami Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich has absolutely no interest in sticking around for even the first few months of his organization’s rebuild:
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) January 17, 2018
You can and should read the piece for the full context of Yelich’s agent’s comments, but you can tell, it’s not good. The agent says he doesn’t see how Yelich reporting to Spring Training is going to work now that “[t]he relationship between player and team is irretrievably broken.”
The Marlins were sold over the summer to an ownership group publicly led by former Yankees great Derek Jeter, who hasn’t gotten off on the right foot thanks to a questionable financial plan, some PR blunders, and the immediate trades of Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, and Dee Gordon.
Yelich, 26, is under control for five more seasons on a very affordable deal, and figures to be a significant contributor in that time. The bat is a legit top-of-the-order option, and he can be a plus defender in a corner outfield spot or passable (at worst) in center. The Cubs would of course be interested in Yelich, but, as we’ve discussed at length, actually getting the right kind of deal together for the Marlins is not going to be easy for the Cubs – especially when compared to the literal dozen other teams out there that would want Yelich and could put together a better (purely) prospect package.
The Cubs are not mentioned as a suitor for Yelich by Crasnick, mind you, who writes, “The Atlanta Braves, Toronto Blue Jays, Los Angeles Dodgers and Angels, San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks and Philadelphia Phillies are among the clubs that have inquired about Yelich at various points this offseason.” That doesn’t mean the Cubs – and several other teams – haven’t reached out. But they’ve never really been mentioned in these kinds of reports, and only Bruce Levine has connected the Cubs to Yelich locally, and mostly in a speculative way.
Still, even if the Cubs aren’t involved, the possibility that a young, impact player could be dealt soon is something to keep our eyes on, given the layers of potential impact (and, to be honest, the intriguing storyline it could create if the Marlins don’t trade him before Spring Training).