It’s just the GM Meetings (not the full-fledged MLB Winter Meetings), but the Marlins have already been listening—and apparently, engaging—in J.T. Realmuto trade talks.
From SiriusXM and Swings and Mishes host Craig Mish:
Sources indicate the Braves have a strong offer on the table for Marlins All Star Catcher J.T. Realmuto. MIA may prefer him dealt outside of NL East, but at this point team is operating as though a trade is likely to happen.— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) November 7, 2018
Sources also indicate Marlins are asking price on Realmuto is a high end young pitching prospect and a position player. A potential two for one.— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) November 7, 2018
Realmuto was a stud in 2018, leading all MLB catchers with 4.8 fWAR thanks to his unique skill set. He remains under club control for his age-28 and age-29 seasons.
The Braves are among at least a dozen potential contenders who view him as a huge potential upgrade behind the plate. This past season, they received strong production from the tandem of Tyler Flowers and Kurt Suzuki, but Suzuki is now a free agent.
Jon Heyman of Fancred offers a slightly conflicting report:
Regarding report braves made “strong” offer for realmuto, source says braves have yet to make any offer for realmuto. They do make some sense as they seek a catcher and have big prospects, but no legs to this story now.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 7, 2018
The Athletic’s Jim Bowden mentions the Braves together with the Astros, Rockies, Dodgers, Nationals and Rays as teams who have at least “touched base” with Miami’s front office. There could be even more, in Joe Frisaro’s estimation.
In an article earlier Wednesday morning (subscription required), Bowden likewise envisioned a 2-for-1 trade involving the Marlins best player. He figured they would choose from a group of young pitchers—Ian Anderson, Touki Toussaint, Bryse Wilson, Luiz Gohara—after being rebuffed on safer bets:
Miami’s first inquires with the Braves would probably start with their top pitching prospects, Mike Soroka and Kyle Wright, and then move on to their top position prospects, third baseman Austin Riley and outfielder Cristian Pache. After the Marlins were told “no,“ like every other team at last year’s trade deadline, they could then focus their attention on the next group of prospects. The Marlins really need to focus their rebuild on starting pitching, and no one in baseball has a deeper group of pitching prospects than the Braves. Perhaps a deal that included two arms from the group of Anderson, Toussaint, Wilson and Gohara could work.
Mish clarifies that a trade is “likely” to happen, though not necessarily with the Braves. They just happen to be a reasonable fit with one of the best all-around farm systems in the league and a desire to build off their NL East title. The Marlins’ preference is to find a match outside the division.
President of baseball operations Michael Hill called in from the GM Meetings as a guest on the Marlins Hot Stove Show episode that premiered Tuesday night. True to form, he declined to go into specifics about this situation:
The real source of heat for the Marlins’ hot stove this winter is of course J.T. Realmuto. Hill said it was up to the player to accept an extension, but “he’s under control for two more years, and we’re extremely happy to have him a part of what we’re building.”
We’re still very early in the process, so buckle up!