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Heyman | Marlins president says stars are going nowhere

Miami Marlins' Marcell Ozuna, right, gets a hand slap after hitting a three-run home run off of Milwaukee Brewers' Junior Guerra during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 2, 2017, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Tom Lynn)
(AP Photo/Tom Lynn)

MIAMI – There’s been trade speculation regarding just about every player on the Marlins’ roster, and some say the Marlins are open to anything. But they apparently have their limits.

Marlins baseball president Michael Hill listed the well-priced young stars Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and J.T. Realmuto as players they have no intention to trade.

“We aren’t talking about those guys,” Hill told FanRag Sports.

While the Marlins are talking to several teams about their relievers, with closer A.J. Ramos and set-up man David Phelps believed to be drawing serious interest, their sale may not be quite as thrilling as some predicted, barring a change of heart. (Hill also said there have been no talks involving superstar slugger Giancarlo Stanton, either.)

Though others have seen the Marlins as open-minded regarding everyone, Hill was pretty clear that trades of those type of talented and cost-efficient players make no sense for their team. When asked about coming star Justin Bour, a first baseman who like Stanton will be competing in Monday’s All-Star Home Run Derby, and who had been linked in a report to the Yankees, Hill said that Bour “goes into the same basket” as the other three, meaning no go. “He’s a pre-arb, 20-home run bat,” Hill explained.

While the Yankees have an issue at first base, Yankees people also insist there’s nothing to that Bour story, and that while they have no great desire to trade their best prospects, if they did, their priority would be for a top-of-the-rotation starter, not a first baseman.

Hill said even Dan Straily, who’s been a nice rotation surprise, fits into that same talented and cheap category since he’s a “pre-arb starting pitcher.” So he’s not being shopped, either.

Of course, it’s possible things could change, as the Marlins’ whole team is for sale.

So it’s possible the new owner (it appears Miami businessman Jorge Mas leads over the Tagg Romney-Wayne Rothbaum group and Derek Jeter group for the team) could have a different take on things. Hill said he is answering to current owners Jeffrey Loria and David Samson now, and ownership always has the last call on important decisions.

Miami Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton swings for a double off San Francisco Giants' Jeff Samardzija in the fifth inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 8, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Miami Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton swings for a double off San Francisco Giants’ Jeff Samardzija in the fifth inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 8, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

There’s been a lot of speculation among baseball people about the possibility of a Stanton blockbuster with folks going so far as to surmise that the Dodgers would make the most sense, followed by the Cardinals, Red Sox, Yankees and Phillies. Even other Marlins people wonder about it. But there isn’t much to talk about yet.

“We haven’t put his name out there,” Hill said, pointing out that Stanton, who has $295 million to go on his deal after this season, has a complete no-trade, meaning he controls his fate.

There is word via USA Today that three teams have mentioned second baseman Dee Gordon, and team sources confirm Gordon’s name has at least been mentioned, despite a contract that would seem to be a vast overpay at this juncture. Hill said, “He’s not back to his 2015 level, but he’s a still very productive top-of-the-lineup presence.” It isn’t known what teams could have interest, but among contending teams, the Angels have been about the least productive at second base.

Martin Prado’s name has been linked to a couple teams, and Marlins people do expect some interest there, but neither of the teams that have been linked in the press and could use a third baseman – either Prado’s old Yankees team or the Red Sox – have Prado high on their list, according to sources. “He’s gone backward,” said a source with one of those teams. (An exec with the other team also pooh-poohed the possibility.) In any case, as is the case with Gordon, the Marlins presumably would have to drastically offset Prado’s salary to move him.

The Marlins got off to a nice trading start, trading shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, and saving themselves about $2 million, when they were just as happy to have rookie J.T. Riddle play that position.

Edinson Volquez, he of an earlier no-hitter, could draw some interest, and Hill said he’s expected back well before the deadline. But unless there’s a reversal in thinking, the main action may revolve around the bullpen.

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