MIAMI -- The trade market has heated up in recent days, and the Pirates are at the forefront of stoking the flames. Pittsburgh on Monday dealt former National League MVP outfielder Andrew McCutchen to the Giants just two days after ace Gerrit Cole was sent to the Astros.The two major
MIAMI -- The trade market has heated up in recent days, and the Pirates are at the forefront of stoking the flames. Pittsburgh on Monday dealt former National League MVP outfielder Andrew McCutchen to the Giants just two days after ace Gerrit Cole was sent to the Astros.
The two major moves have reshaped the market, which could potentially impact the number of clubs coveting Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich and catcher J.T. Realmuto.
Yelich and Realmuto have been at the center of trade speculation for weeks, but right now talks have simmered for both. The same is true for second baseman Starlin Castro, who recently expressed a desire to be dealt.
• Hot Stove Tracker
Realmuto is entering arbitration for the first time and is not eligible for free agency until after the 2020 season. Yelich is signed through '21 with a club option for '22.
With both cost-friendly and under club control, the Marlins have no urgency to move either one. Still, the club remains open to listening, but they're seeking overpay trade scenarios. The Braves, Nationals, D-backs, Padres, White Sox and Phillies are among the more than dozen clubs interested.
With nothing seriously in the works, the Marlins are prepared to head into Spring Training with Yelich and Realmuto. Barring a team stepping up in the next couple of weeks, it appears a more realistic trade scenario could be before Opening Day or at the non-waiver Trade Deadline in July.
That could change, if there is more movement in the market.
The McCutchen trade likely means the Giants are not a realistic fit for Yelich, because the prospect package in return would be extremely high. San Francisco could opt for a free agent like Lorenzo Cain rather than take away from its system.
Pittsburgh is a potential sleeper for Yelich now that it cleared McCutchen's $14.75 million 2018 salary off its books. Part of Yelich's appeal to clubs is that he'll make $7 million in '18, and he's owed $43.25 million through '21. He has a $15 million club option for '22 with a $1.25 million buyout.
The Pirates just added more prospects to their system after the Cole and McCutchen trades, which puts them in a better position to pursue Yelich.
More than 15 teams have touched base on Yelich. Perhaps the A's are a match?
The Marlins had discussions with Oakland regarding Marcell Ozuna, who was dealt to the Cardinals in December. Ozuna attended an event last weekend in St. Louis, where he noted that he thought he might be dealt to the A's. If Oakland was interested in Ozuna, chances are it also discussed Yelich, and it has the high-end prospects that could make a deal work.
The Marlins aren't forcing the issue for another major trade, and with Spring Training set to open on Feb. 14, there's a greater chance Miami will add more low-cost outfield and pitching depth than deal Yelich or Realmuto.
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.