If the payroll-cutting Marlins only trade one of center fielder Christian Yelich or left fielder Marcell Ozuna this offseason, it’s more likely to be the former, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes. Parting with Yelich instead of Ozuna would save the Marlins less money in the near term, but they value Ozuna’s on- and off-field contributions so much that they’re inclined to keep him, per Cafardo. Ozuna is a Scott Boras client with just two years of control remaining and a projected $10.9MM coming his way in 2018. Yelich, on the other hand, will make $7MM next year – the third season of a long-term deal that looks like one of the most team-friendly contracts in baseball. The soon-to-be 26-year-old is controllable for five more seasons, including a 2022 club option for $15MM, at a combined $58.25MM.
Of course, the highest-profile Marlins outfielder is Giancarlo Stanton, who also has the biggest contract ($295MM through 2028, unless he opts out after 2020). While Stanton will be popular in the rumor mill over the next several months, there was “buzz” late in the season that he’d use his full no-trade clause to reject a deal to the Phillies, who are interested in him and Yelich, Cafardo relays. Stanton has made it clear that he’s tired of losing, something the Phillies have done plenty of in recent years, though they’re seemingly trending upward and figure to return to their high-payroll ways in the near future.
More from the National League:
- The Giants are interested in hiring Jim Hickey as their next pitching coach, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports (on Twitter). The position opened up Saturday when San Francisco shifted longtime pitching coach Dave Righetti to its front office. Like Righetti, the well-regarded Hickey brings vast experience working with hurlers, having served as the Rays’ pitching coach from 2006-17.
- Hickey is also drawing serious interest from the Cubs, according to Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic (subscription required and recommended). He’d take over for Chris Bosio, whom the Cubs fired Saturday, and would reunite in Chicago with former Rays manager Joe Maddon. Letting go of Bosio may have been a front office-driven move, posits Sharma, who notes that president of baseball operations Theo Epsein was particularly disappointed in the bullpen’s last-ranked walk rate in 2017. The struggles of midseason acquisition Justin Wilson, who was terrific out of Detroit’s bullpen but undependable as part of Chicago’s, likely helped lead to Bosio’s ouster, Sharma suggests. Across 17 2/3 innings with the Cubs, Wilson walked 19 (compared to 16 in 40 1/3 innings as a Tiger) and logged a 5.09 ERA. Consequently, he appeared in only one of the Cubs’ 10 playoff games.