Braves trade rumors: Yelich and Realmuto would make them contenders

Yelich is part of Miami's core as they rebuild their roster. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images.
Yelich is part of Miami's core as they rebuild their roster. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images. /

The Marlins could be trading two young superstars to a division rival with new Braves trade rumors buzzing.

For any Atlanta Braves fans who are sick of the rebuild, I may have some good news, with some new Braves trade rumors floating around.

As noted here, the Braves have demonstrated an interest in Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich since the Winter Meetings.  Now, this should come as no surprise; between his solid level of play and team-friendly contract, it stands to reason most teams would want him on their roster.

However, the Braves interest in Marlins players does not end there, as indicated by J.P. Morosi on Wednesday with these thrilling Braves trade rumors.

"#Braves have inquired to #Marlins on J.T. Realmuto, in addition to Christian Yelich, as previously reported, sources say."

That’s right.  In addition to Yelich, the Braves are also gauging the price to acquire stud catcher J.T. Realmuto.

Mark Bowman added fuel to the fire with this white-hot tweet on Thursday:

"The Braves made some progress toward acquiring Yelich during the Winter Meetings.  But the Marlins slowed things down as they were dealing with backlash from the Stanton/Gordon/Ozuna deals.  Atlanta has maintained interest and there was always a sense the talks would resume."

Bowman’s tweet focuses specifically on Yelich, but more so than anything it represents ongoing talks between the two teams.  As the Marlins gain familiarity with the Braves’ stellar farm system, progress towards a deal could come at any minute, especially since talks had advanced for Yelich a few weeks ago.

Now, this is a similar method the Marlins employed with the Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna trades.  During trade talks for Stanton, the Marlins held active discussions with the Cardinals.  Upon Stanton’s eventual trade with the Yankees, the Cards moved on to Ozuna, and the Miami front office used their knowledge of the Cards’ system to get their desired package.

After sending Matt Kemp and Jim Johnson out West, the initiative to beef up the roster has already begun.  With the subtraction of these two troublemakers, as well as some other necessary roster casualties, the team has already improved.

However, the possibility of adding Ronald Acuña, Christian Yelich, and J.T. Realmuto begs the question: Would this make the Braves a playoff contender in 2018?

It absolutely would.

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The Nationals have the NL East on lockdown, but the 2018 Braves could make A LOT of noise by adding the aforementioned trio.  Even if Atlanta is only able to wrestle away one of Miami’s two remaining stars, a Wild Card bid is not out of the question.

The Marlins are apparently just now entering their rebuild; the Phillies are stalled out in theirs.  The Mets…well, they’re the Mets.

For what it’s worth, the price of acquisition for either Yelich or Realmuto would be devastating. If the Braves were willing to absorb the exorbitant salaries of Brad Zeigler ($9M in 2018) or Martin Prado ($28.5M over 2018-2019), it could offset the preposterous prospect capital the Braves would have to unload.

As Alex Anthopoulos has proven his creativity in trades, a three-team deal involving Julio Teheran could be an exciting way to minimize prospect damage.

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The hot stove has been ice-cold for most of this offseason.  Any Braves trade rumors involving Yelich or Realmuto are enough to keep us warm…for now.