Veteran third baseman Martin Prado said he isn’t the kind who would ever demand a trade, as some current and former Marlins teammates have done.
“I’m glad I’m in the big leagues,” Prado said. “I’m thankful to be where I’m at. I wouldn’t do that.”
But Prado said he was a bit taken aback that at least three Marlins teammates did exactly that over the winter, telling the Marlins they wished to be gone and not part of a rebuild.
Two, Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich, got their wish and were dealt, with Stanton going to the Yankees and Yelich landing with the Brewers.
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The third, J.T. Realmuto, remains with the club and reported to camp Wednesday with pitchers and catchers. Realmuto said Saturday he’s preparing to play, whether it’s with the Marlins or another team.
“For me, it’s a little radical, just thinking of guys doing that,” Prado said. “That’s why it just hurt me. Everybody’s got their way to think about trades, and where you’re going to play, and where you want to be. [But] I wasn’t allowed to speak until I got some time in.”
That said, Prado added he “respected” those players’ decisions.
“I’m not judging anybody,” Prado said. “I love them. And we’re going to miss them.”
CHEN BEHIND SCHEDULE
The Marlins’ highest-paid player won’t be ready for the start of the season.
Marlins manager Don Mattingly said as pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training at Roger Dean Stadium that starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen would not be ready to open the regular season in late March.
Chen, who is set to make $10 million this season with another $8 million in deferred bonuses, has the highest salary in terms of total compensation on the Marlins’ roster in the wake of an offseason where the team traded Stanton and Dee Gordon.
Mattingly said he expects Chen to be in the starting rotation at some point this season, but he will start a throwing program (as will reliever Nick Wittgren) this spring as he continues to rehab from a left elbow injury that cut short his 2017 season.
“Wei-Yin is still in rehab protocol,” Mattingly said on Wednesday. “They’ll be throwing pens. They’ll be doing everything everybody else will be doing, but there still is a progression to what these guys are doing. Then as we get to the time that they’re ready then they go.”
Chen has had an overall disappointing stint with the Marlins since signing a five-year, $80 million deal before the 2016 season.
The only thing I’m concerned about is getting my arm ready to pitch again,” Chen said. “I’m not concerned with making it before Opening Day or not.”
BIG LEAGUES OR BUST
Lefty pitcher Justin Nicolino and catcher Tomas Telis are both out of options, which could improve their chances of making the Opening Day roster, regardless of spring performance.
The Marlins can no longer send either player to the minors without first exposing them to waivers and risk losing both. In recent years, the Marlins kept Brad Hand and Jose Ureña when their options ran out.
Nicolino could contend for a bullpen spot in a long relief role while Telis figures to serve as a backup to Realmuto, assuming he hasn’t been traded before the season.
OFF TO ARBITRATION
Possible Opening Day starter Dan Straily was the only pitcher not to participate in afternoon drills on Wednesday. The reason: Straily flew to Arizona to attend his salary arbitration hearing on Thursday.
Straily has asked for $3.55 million. The Marlins countered with $3.375 million. Arbitrators will pick a salary after hearing both sides give their arguments.
A team spokesman said Straily got in his bullpen work Wednesday morning at the team’s spring complex before catching a flight to Arizona.