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MLB trade rumors: Braves interested in Christian Yelich, J.T. Realmuto

Atlanta may have what it takes to acquire the two budding stars from the Marlins.

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Miami Marlins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Braves are showing interest in Marlins budding stars Christian Yelich and J.T. Realmuto, sources told Jon Morosi of MLB Network.

The Braves have been asking about Yelich for a little bit, but they recently contacted Miami about the possibility of acquiring Realmuto as well.

Morosi says that even though the discussions ”have yet to advance,” there is belief Atlanta has the prospects to land these pair of 26-year-olds. In addition, first-year general manager Alex Anthopoulos is not afraid to make big moves, as evidence of his time with the Blue Jays and his first trade with the Braves in which they sent Matt Kemp to the Dodgers for Adrian Gonzalez as part of a creative five-player deal.

Another big reason Anthopoulos and company are looking at Yelich and Realmuto is because they have only three players — Freddie Freeman, Julio Teheran and Ender Inciarte — under contract past 2018. If they acquire Yelich and Realmuto, they will get young, talented players who are controllable.

Yelich, a left-hand hitting outfielder who has also drawn interest from the Cardinals, Padres and Diamondbacks, hit 18 home runs with 81 RBI while slashing .282/.369/..439 in 156 games. In addition, he has four years, $46.5 million left on his contract and has a $15 million club option for 2022. Yelich also has a buyout of $1.25 million if a team does not pick up his option.

Realmuto, a right-hand hitting catcher who has also been targeted by the Astros, smacked 17 homers with 65 RBI while slashing .278/.332/.451 in 141 games. Among catchers, Realmuto finished in the top three in batting average, runs, hits, doubles, triples, at bats, stolen bases, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS. As far as his contract, Realmuto is up for arbitration and is projected to make about $4.2 million next season.

Moreover, Morosi says the Braves can go after free-agent starters like Jake Arrieta, Yu Darvish, Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn to fill their pitching needs (they only have Teheran, Mike Foltynewicz and Brandon McCarthy set in their rotation for 2018) because they can “backload multiyear contracts without major financial repercussions.”