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MLB Trade Rumors: Cardinals and Phillies could go after Christian Yelich

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Talks with the Phillies are reportedly “heating up” while the Cardinals also like Ozuna.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Pittsburgh Pirates Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reported last week that the Marlins were telling teams their controllable players — like Christian Yelich — are not available.

However, that hasn’t stopped teams from showing interest and the rumors from floating around.

After Ken Rosenthal last week wrote about talk within the Phillies organization of trying to acquire both Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton, talks between the Phillies and Marlins about Yelich are reportedly “heating up”, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo.

It would obviously take a lot for Miami to move Yelich, considering he has one of the most team-friendly contracts in the league. The outfielder is under team control through the 2022 season and is owed only $58.25 million over that entire span.

That contract is so appealing because Yelich has been so productive in his time in Miami. His .776 OPS and 105 wRC+ is even considered a down year for the 25 year old after his dominant 2016 campaign.

If the Marlins were to move Yelich, Philadelphia may be the perfect place for him and for both teams. The Phillies have plenty of money to build around him when the monster free agency class becomes available after the 2018 season.

Philadelphia also has a top-10 farm system in baseball, and has the assets to acquire a guy like Yelich. The market for outfielders has not been set yet this season, but the Marlins wouldn’t be wrong in asking for 2016 No. 1 overall pick Mickey Moniak or at least a few of Philadelphia’s top minor league arms.

However, if Yelich is even made the slightest-bit available, the Phillies obviously won’t be the only team trying to acquire him. The St. Louis Cardinals have been linked to both Yelich and Marcell Ozuna, according to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com.

The Cardinals signed signed Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million deal this offseason, so he won’t be going anywhere, but they can’t be impressed with their other young outfielders. Stephen Piscotty and Randal Grichuk have both hit under .240 this season and have even been sent down to Triple-A at one point.

St. Louis’ farm system is in the top half in baseball (ranked 12th in the preseason by Baseball America), and they would have the prospects to deal for at least one of the Miami outfielders.

As Feinsand reported, the Marlins sent an executive to watch 2016 first-round pick Dakota Hudson. The right-hander, who is the Cardinals No. 9 ranked prospect, has posted a 2.77 ERA and struck out 69 batters in 100.2 innings at Double-A this season.

If the interest seems to be high on Yelich or Ozuna, the Marlins could inquire about RHP Alex Reyes (Cardinals No. 1 prospect) or RHP Luke Weaver (No. 3 prospect), and could even take on Grichuk or Piscotty in the hopes of them finding their rookie year form.