After a wild weekend, the dust has settled on two of the biggest sweepstakes in baseball. While the Yankees just missed out on Japanese super-star Shohei Ohtani, they did land another big fish, reeling in reigning NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton in a trade with the Miami Marlins. The trade, in addition to the Marlins’ deal with the Mariners sending Dee Gordon to Seattle and their trade with the Cardinals to off-load Marcell Ozuna confirms months of speculation and rumors: the Marlins are in “Everything Must Go” mode. Despite a sub-par season in 2017 and three of their biggest names already moved, the Fish still have several attractive pieces that could be moved for prospects, and other teams should be chomping at the bit for the chance to trade for them. Christian Yelich Position: OF Contract: Team option for 2022, free agent after 2022 Tradeability: A- Christian Yelich took a few steps backward this season from his stellar 2016 campaign, in which he hit 20-plus homers for the first time in his career and led qualified Marlins hitters in SLG. His power seemed to vanish in 2017, as his slugging percentage dropped back to its career average despite managing an OPS over .800 for the second straight season. Of particular note: Yelich saw his average exit velocity drop by nearly 2 mph from 2016 to 2017 and his xwOBA dropped almost 30 points, which raise a few eyebrows as to whether we will see the 2016 version of Yelich again. Despite this, Yelich was still a highly productive player in 2017: His bat and glove were well above average, and Yelich was the sixth most valuable player on the base paths by Baserunning Runs (BsR). Even if teams don't expect him to find his power stroke again, Yelich is still a valuable and versatile outfield piece. Yelich’s cheap contract makes him an attractive option as an outfield bat, especially to teams looking for a centerfielder this offseason. Given that the only big-name free agent centerfielder is Lorenzo Cain, teams who have been production starved in the center field department (specifically the Mets and Giants) might be wise to spring for Yelich if he’s available. Justin Bour Position: 1B Contract: Arbitration eligible in 2018, free agent after 2021 Tradeability: B Bour started looking like a star in 2017, only to go down for several months with an oblique injury. Regardless, in a year highlighted by elite offensive production from first basemen across the majors, Bour finished seventh in OPS among first basemen with at least 400 plate appearances and clubbed 25 home runs despite playing only 109 games. When healthy, Bour is an offensive powerhouse. While Bour had been targeted in trade discussions before, most notably at the non-waiver deadline by the Yankees, the Marlins appeared reluctant to move him. It makes sense they might hold him this offseason. Given how many power bats are available for cheap on the free agent market, teams would be reluctant to trade for Bour unless it was on the cheap, and while the Marlins have not shied away from trading elite players on the cheap so far this offseason, it would be wisest to wait until there’s more of a market for him. If the Fish end up deciding to pull the trigger on a Bour trade this offseason, expect to see the Red Sox, Yankees, or possibly the Mariners in play. Kyle Barraclough Position: RP Contract: Arbitration eligible in 2019, free agent after 2022 Tradeability: C Barraclough has always been an intriguing figure in the Marlins' pen. Since his 2015 debut, the Marlins' setup man has posted the 14th highest K/9 of any reliever in the MLB (12.09 K/9). But he's always struggled with control — his 5.52 BB/9 is the second highest in the majors over the same time frame. Despite the control issues, Barraclough has been an effective reliever in his time with the Fish, as his career 2.87 ERA attests. If Barraclough could bring his walks down, there's little doubt that he could be an elite reliever, but even if he stays the course, he could still attract some attention on the trade market for the Marlins, especially since Barraclough is pre-arb. The biggest obstacles to the Fish moving Barraclough is the rest of the market — with a plethora of solid relievers available in free agency, teams this offseason have their pick of the lot.
Grading members of the Marlins by their tradeability
Sporting News | Dec 14