The Phillies have been “vocal” in their desire to acquire Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich and are willing to creatively take on “bad money” contracts to do so, according to FOX’s Ken Rosenthal.
Miami has expressed an unwillingness to move its core position players (Yelich, Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna) before the July 31 trade deadline as it awaits the likely sale of the team, but that doesn’t mean other clubs aren’t going to try to pry the controllable outfielders away. The Fish, fresh off hosting the first ever All-Star Game played in Miami, are known to be shopping relievers like David Phelps, A.J. Ramos and Kyle Barraclough.
Yelich is under club control through the 2022 season, earning under $60 million over the next five years. That low price, mixed with the outfielder’s production and youth, makes him attractive to every club in baseball and would bring back a huge haul for the Marlins if they do decide to sell.
Rosenthal suggests that the Phillies could look to take on Stanton’s mega-deal as part of the trade, though he does note that the club has not yet showed any interest in doing so. The Marlins will look to unload Stanton, who is owed $310 million through the end of the 2028 season if he doesn’t opt out and become a free agent after 2020. One way to do that would be packaging him with Yelich, giving the acquiring club a low-priced asset in addition to the player with the largest contract in major-league history.
Even if the two NL East rivals are not able to work out a deal before the end of the month, Rosenthal’s report shows that Miami may need to get creative in unloading payroll for a new owner and that the Phillies are about to get serious about adding key pieces. The Phils could also become contenders for Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Zach Britton and others in free agency next winter.