Miami Marlins

Is another Marlins star gone? Christian Yelich’s agent sends a message to the team

The agent for Miami Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich told ESPN that Yelich and the organization need to go their separate ways. This comes after Derek Jeter and Co. traded away three of the organization’s other top players in Dee Gordon, Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna.
The agent for Miami Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich told ESPN that Yelich and the organization need to go their separate ways. This comes after Derek Jeter and Co. traded away three of the organization’s other top players in Dee Gordon, Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna. pportal@miamiherald.com

One by one, Christian Yelich saw his teammates and friends traded away since Derek Jeter and Co. took over the Marlins organization.

First it was second baseman Dee Gordon, then outfielder and league MVP Giancarlo Stanton, and then outfielder Marcell Ozuna — all in the span of one week in December.

Now, it seems like just a matter of time until Yelich is the next of the Marlins’ big-name players to leave Miami.

Joe Longo, Yelich’s agent, told ESPN on Tuesday night that Yelich’s relationship with the Marlins organization is beyond repair and that the team needs to trade him, preferably before the start of spring training.

“They have a plan,” Longo said. “I respect that plan, but that plan shouldn't include Christian at this point in his career. He's in the middle of the best years of his career, and having him be part of a 100-loss season is not really where [we] want to see him going.

Mattingly talks about the direction of the franchise and the future of the Marlins during a press conference at the MLB Winter Meetings on Dec. 13, 2017.

“The relationship between player and team is irretrievably broken. It's soured.”

Yelich, 26, as well as catcher J.T. Realmuto, have previously expressed disdain for how the new ownership has shipped away the team’s top players for the sake of slashing salary. Infielder Starlin Castro, who came to the Marlins from the Yankees as a result of the Stanton trade, has similar feelings.

For Yelich, the move would be a chance for him to have an opportunity to potentially play for a team that has postseason potential. In his five seasons with the Marlins, the team has never finished with a winning record and had no more than 79 wins. That losing record streak seems likely to continue this year with a watered-down roster that could be without five of the top six hitters in the batting order from last season if both Yelich and Realmuto are traded.

In that span, Yelich has been one of the Marlins’ steady contributors in the lineup. He has put up a career slash line of .290/.369/.423. He won a Gold Glove Award in 2014 for his prowess on defense and a Silver Slugger Award in 2016 for a career year at the plate. He has hit 39 home runs over the last two seasons.

“The new ownership regime needs to get new parts into this plan and move forward, and [Yelich] needs to get on with his career where he's got a chance to win,” Longo said. “The big issue is him winning and winning now.

“He loves the city of Miami. He loves the fans. He's had nothing but a good experience in South Florida, and he feels sorry where they ended up. But I think having him report [to spring training] and attempting to include him moving forward is going to be uncomfortable for both sides. I don't see how it's going to work.”

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