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The Risk/Reward of a Christian Yelich and J.T. Realmuto Blockbuster Trade

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Is this deal a slam dunk for Atlanta? Depends on the price.

Miami Marlins v New York Mets
Yelich and Realmuto celebratory fist bump
Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Christian Yelich and J.T. Realmuto. The thought of both being an Atlanta Brave for 3+ years is certainly enticing. However, the cost is the critical sticking point. Before we get to the fantasy trade, let’s take a look at the known facts and similar trades to get a better understanding of the Marlins asking price.

The Facts:

  1. Both Yelich and Realmuto are unhappy and Realmuto has requested to be traded. The Marlins should move these two because the last thing you want are unhappy stars around your other players.
  2. The Braves while in the last stages of the rebuild are not just a player or two away from really contending. Braves still have some big question marks in the bullpen and starting pitching: Julio Teheran took another step back, Mike Foltynewicz stayed roughly the same when he seemed primed for a breakout year, Sean Newcomb and his control issues are very real, Luiz Gohara doesn’t have at least an average 3rd pitch, and Brandon McCarthy/Max Fried have injury concerns. This is in addition to the big struggles from the former No. 1 prospect in Dansby Swanson.
  3. We do know that the Braves are interested in both Yelich and Realmuto, and it’s been reported the team has been discussing acquiring Yelich since the Winter Meetings.

4. It’s also been reported by Ken Rosenthal that the Marlins aren’t looking to include bad contracts, but to maximize the return. If true, and the Braves cannot negotiate in a returning bad contract to lessen the cost, then acquiring both players just became exponentially more difficult.

Comparable Trades:

1. Jonathan Lucroy was traded from the Brewers for Lewis Brinson and Luis Ortiz.

2. The Adam Eaton trade to the Nationals landed the White Sox three players in Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning. Eaton also has long term deal similar to Yelich, but even more team friendly. Also, Yelich isn’t coming off a 6 WAR season.

Result of those 2 trades was 5 total prospects: 60/65FV, 3-55FV and a 50FV player

3. Marcell Ozuna was traded for 4 players – Sandy Alcantara, Magneuris Sierra, Zac Gallen and Daniel Castano (2 50FV, 45FV, 40FV). Calling out this trade is important since the Marlins have a different way of evaluating talent that could impact what they ask/get in return for Yelich and Realmuto.

Blockbuster Trade:

Braves get – Yelich + Realmuto

Marlins get – Newcomb (former 60FV), Kurt Suzuki, Kolby Allard (55FV), Cristian Pache (55FV), Ian Anderson (55FV), Alex Jackson (45FV), Travis Demeritte (45FV), Akeel Morris/Thomas Burrows (45FV)

The risk is that Newcomb develops enough control to turn into a TOR arm. Allard, Pache and Anderson are still young enough to keep improving and become a lot more valuable. Demeritte could turn into a plus defender at 2B while hitting 30 HRs, and Jackson sticks behind the plate and turns into the next Realmuto on a cheap rookie deal.

The reward to this trade should be apparent. Two budding star players that push the Braves into the playoffs for the next 3+ years. Braves keeping Flowers teaches Realmuto to be a much better pitch framer. However, if the Braves make a trade for Yelich and Realmuto, I would bank on Alex Anthopoulos being involved in other moves to get a frontline starter.

Another idea would be to help broker a trade between the Yankees/Pirates that lands the Braves Clint Frazier. Yankees have to be motivated now that the Cubs are in on Cole.

I’ve given you my thoughts on what the trade would look like. Do you feel that’s too much, just right, or too little?