Christian Yelich's agent says the outfielder and the Marlins need to break up as soon as possible, as in prior to the start of spring training.
Yeah, no. Don't expect a quickie divorce.
The agent, Joe Longo, tried to negotiate a split through the media when he told ESPN's Jerry Crasnick on Tuesday, "The relationship between player and team is irretrievably broken. It's soured."
That may be true from the player's side, at least: Yelich is the last major league outfielder standing in Miami after the offseason trades of Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna. He's 26 and entering his prime, and the Marlins are expected to finish last in the National League East in 2018.
Let's be real, though. Yelich won't sit out a second of the regular season in protest and lose any of the $7 million he's due to make. On the other side, the Marlins know those millions can delay Yelich's exit for as long as they want.
Yelich's contract has an average annual value of $7.8 million through 2021 and includes a $15 million option for 2022. That's for a player who has averaged 4.1 bWAR the past four seasons. The team that acquires him — Braves? Nationals? Dodgers? — knows it will be getting a bargain, but it doesn't want to pay retail in terms of prospects and major leaguers.
After selling low on Stanton and, probably, Ozuna, the Marlins can't do the same with Yelich. Drawn-out trade talks should be the result, even if the Marlins have been listening on Yelich for some time.
Sorry, Mr. Longo, looks like this is going to take awhile.