What it would take for the Astros to sign Christian Yelich?
Christian Yelich is in play after the Marlins and Jeter are in a fire sale emptying their ball club. The Marlins unloaded Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna and it would only make sense for them to trade Yelich. But who would be a suitor? Could the Astros be a logical fit? Just go to Twitter and see all the fans and amateur experts thumbing out their hypotheticals for Yelich.
And why not? The 26-year-old outfielder has posted a career .290 batting average, 719 hits, 59 home runs and slugging .432 in five solid seasons to start his major league career. He also plays a mean center field, which is backed up by his 2014 Gold Glove.
Yelich’s price tag in terms of actual cash? That’s set to be north of $43 million over the next four years or $58.25 million over the five years if the 2022 team option is exercised.
Yelich currently is a piece that the Marlins would like to build around, but it doesn’t seem like that feeling is mutual. Like Stanton, he probably doesn’t want to be a part of a rebuild.
Here’s why he would be a GREAT fit with the Astros.
Yelich would fit right in with a group of guys who love to mash and hustle. First of all, Yelich has a dynamic skill set with the bat and glove. Not many outfielders are around with his versatility. Secondly, the Astros outfield is currently occupied by Marwin Gonzalez in left, George Springer in center and Josh Reddick in right field. So, where would Yelich fit? You’d have to move some players, including talent in the farm system. Hypothetically, Yelich would fit in left, Springer would stay in center and Reddick in right field. This would enable Gonzalez to resume his roving duties all over the baseball diamond. When a player like Yelich is available with the modest salary, well, you make room.
Another great reason he would fit right in is by locking him in for five-plus years. Springer becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2021 and you’ll need someone dynamic in the outfield to fill the void “IF” he leaves.
Here’s why he would NOT be a great fit with the Astros.
Regardless of the salary and commitment of five years to Yelich himself, the Astros would have to unload a ton of talent to Miami. Therefore, they would have to likely empty their farm system, which includes Derek Fisher, Kyle Tucker, Forrest Whitley, Yordan Alvarez and J.B. Bukauskas. If the Marlins want to take the “Astro-Ball” approach and rebuild, they’ll need some grade a talent like what’s being formed in the Astros minors. In return, you would gain another ferocious bat and perennial all-star in Yelich. The downside is you empty the prospect pool.
If you asked me, it would be nice to add a positional player of his caliber, but the Astros have much dire needs like a bleeding bullpen. In addition, I’m not sold on the idea that the Astros may have to dump the farm system to get him. I like the talent we have and this is the future of the team when the financial apocalypse occurs… Or doesn’t.
In conclusion, twenty-nine other teams will entertain ideas and roll out the red carpet for Yelich. But if it’s not the Astros, I hope its no one in the AL West or the American League, in general.
***Statistics and information courtesy of Baseball-Reference***