This weekend could go down as the the final time outfielders Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna take the field together for the Marlins, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald observes. While all three enjoy playing with one another, each realizes the organization is in flux, which might bring about the end of their successful partnership. “I think everyone is kind of aware of the situation,” said Yelich, the center fielder. “We really don’t know what’s going to happen, [but] we realize what the possibilities could be. Everybody knows that.” The only member of the trio who could block a trade is Stanton, he of 57 home runs in 2017 and a $295MM contract that runs through 2028 (or 2020, depending on an opt-out decision). The 27-year-old MVP candidate suggested that he wouldn’t be keen on embarking on a rebuild, something Miami might have to do in order to slash payroll and restock a weak farm system. “What else are you here for? I don’t do this just to show up. I’m here to try to win, get a ring,” the right fielder said (via Tim Healey of the South Florida Sun Sentinel). “There’s a point otherwise, but that’s your ultimate goal.”
More from the NL:
- An ailing back continues to trouble the Dodgers’ Adrian Gonzalez, leading the club to shut him down for the year, manager Dave Roberts announced Wednesday (via Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times). Gonzalez played in just 71 games this season and batted a career-worst .242/.287/.355 for the NL’s top seed, though he did hit a home run Tuesday in what proved to be his last contest of 2017. The 35-year-old felt tightness in back on Wednesday, however, which forced the Dodgers to bring his season to a close prior to the playoffs. Regarding 2018, the final year of Gonzalez’s contract (in which he’ll make $21.5MM), he said: “My plan is to be an everyday player again and give it a go to have a really good season. Like I expected for this year.”
- Phillies right-hander Clay Buchholz has been out of action since suffering a partial tear of the flexor pronator mass in his pitching arm on April 11, but the 33-year-old expects to be ready for spring training, per Todd Zolecki of MLB.com. He’ll start throwing Oct. 9, roughly a month before he’ll be eligible to depart Philadelphia as a free agent. “It’s my first go around with the whole free-agent deal,” Buchholz said of the upcoming offseason. “I’ll have to prove that I’m ready to go and I’m healthy, I’m sure. But I’m looking forward to it.” While Buchholz will go down as a failed on-field pickup for the Phillies, who acquired him from Boston last winter, he did mentor their young pitchers behind the scenes, as Zolecki details.
- Third baseman Christian Villanueva has hit four homers in 10 games since the Padres selected his contract Sept. 18, putting him in position to compete for a 25-man spot next spring, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com writes. The offseason minor league signing and former top 100 prospect with the Cubs will have an opportunity to win a starting job at second or third base in the spring, relays Cassavell, who notes that he could at least be a useful right-handed hitter off the bench. While Villaneuva, who was once part of trade involving Kyle Hendricks and Ryan Dempster, has slashed .333/.333/.778, his success has come over a minuscule amount of PAs (27). Manager Andy Green needs to see more, saying that “I don’t think you prove anything in September in such a short sample.”