Players feel heat of trade rumors
Phillies, Cards, Blue Jays linked to trade reports
MIAMI — When a team is double-digit games out of a chance to play in October at this time of year, as the Miami Marlins were Monday, trade rumors swirl like hungry birds at the landfill.
It is difficult to look around the Marlins’ clubhouse without seeing a serviceable player hearing the whispers or the subject of shouts on social media. There should be an app to keep straight who is supposedly headed where.
“It’s tough,” closer A.J. Ramos said. “You’re getting tagged in different team’s stuff. It’s just like not focusing on people that are hating on you. There’s always going to be some negativity going on and some distractions. That’s part of being a big leaguer. This is another thing to just ignore. Because this is not something you can control.”
As the last-place Phillies arrived for a three-game series, so did reports of at least three key Marlins being coveted by Philadelphia management: outfielders Christian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton, as well as former batting champion Dee Gordon.
Gordon, who the Marlins got in a trade with the Dodgers after his first All-Star season in 2014, is also reportedly a target of the Toronto Blue Jays.
He also watched his father, former pitcher Tom Gordon, move to eight teams in 15 seasons.
“I’ve played for two now,” Gordon said. “There’s a bunch of other guys here maybe it’s the first time of being brought up in anything. They probably are a little bit more nervous about it than I would be.
“There’s not much I can do other than play baseball. I’m a Marlin until the day I’m gone.”
The Phillies might seem unlikely buyers considering they are going nowhere this season. But with only one player under contract for 2018, outfielder Odubel Herrera, they have payroll flexibility to spend on young talent to build around.
The Marlins, by contrast, have $95.3 million committed to eight players next season.
Yelich and Marcell Ozuna are also being linked to interest by the St. Louis Cardinals, with the Marlins reportedly eyeing pitching prospect Dakota Hudson. In any trade, the Marlins will be looking to restock with young talent, and the Cardinals have a deep farm system with five of MLB Pipeline’s top 100 prospects.
With two weeks until the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, the rumors are only going to intensify. Manager Don Mattingly said he has spoken to the team about it — as he does every year.
“We addressed it the first day after the [All-Star] break,” Mattingly said. “Every team I’ve ever been with, every year it’s the same. I watch the MLB [Network] and all they do is talk about trades this time of year. Everyone is either, are we going to get a guy or are guys going somewhere?
“It is something we talk about just a little bit I think because of where were at and all the talk with us.”
Ozuna, who has started the past two All-Star Games and has two years of salary arbitration eligibility remaining, carries value that makes him highly sought after and likely to be dealt.
Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon has been linked to trade rumors with Blue Jays and Phillies.