4:16 PM PT Update
MLB Network Jon Morosi’s distances the Yankees from the Realmuto situation while confirming that the Padres are a legitimate possibility.
There’s no question about San Diego having the high-end talent it would take to facilitate a trade. But it’d be a dramatic pivot after they shipped a pair of relievers to Cleveland last summer for elite catching prospect Francisco Mejía. Would they potentially flip Mejía to the Marlins as a headliner in their package, or shift the 23-year-old to a different defensive position?
Also consider that Realmuto would be eligible for free agency after the 2020 season. It’s rare to see any team vault from 96 losses to world-beater so rapidly. The Padres either have more aggressive moves planned to upgrade the supporting cast or optimism about extending him.
10:54 AM PT* Update
It’s been previously reported that the Marlins like the idea of controllable pieces with MLB experience (rather than just traditional prospects).
Well, Jon Heyman of Fancred hears the Mets are hesitant to part with Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo or Amed Rosario, their most prominent position players who fit that criteria:
Not sure what the Marlins precise trade request is from Mets for Realmuto. But heard Mets do not want to do Conforto-Nimmo combo, and they don’t want to trade Rosario at all.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 9, 2018
Rosario, an athletic, 23-year-old shortstop, would be a particularly good fit with the Marlins organization.
*We’ll use Pacific time for updates because, ya know, Vegas
Although J.T. Realmuto has been on the trading block throughout 2018, the Marlins haven’t budged on their high asking price. That approach has made me uneasy at times, but according to multiple reports, it’s serving them well—he continues to draw interest from a wide variety of suitors. Jim Bowden of The Athletic identifies 10 teams who are “in” on the All-Star catcher as we kick off the MLB Winter Meetings in Las Vegas:
Sources: Still “in" on J.T.Realmuto: NYM, PHI, SD, ATL, TB….not as aggressive but “in” are LA, COL, Milw, Hous, CWS— Jim Bowden (@JimBowdenGM) December 7, 2018
We have already touched on most of these possible destinations at some point during the offseason. To review...
- Mets—The big Canó/Díaz acquisition signaled that the new front office feels ready to contend now. Kevin Plawecki is pencilled in as their primary catcher. Lacking a slam-dunk star prospect, a Mets proposal would need to be centered around a controllable major leaguer like Amed Rosario or Brandon Nimmo.
- Phillies—Their offense sputtered down the stretch last season (90 wRC+ in August, 83 wRC+ in September). Miami would want right-hander Sixto Sanchez. It seems far more likely that the Phillies improve at catcher via free agency instead; they have the resources to outspend anybody for Yasmani Grandal or Wilson Ramos.
- Padres—Deepest farm system in baseball. Here’s one silly possibility (lol jk). Former top prospect Austin Hedges would be an intriguing throw-in piece.
- Braves—Signing old man Brian McCann did not take them out of the conversation. In fact, SiriusXM/Five Reasons Sports host Craig Mish detailed a strong offer from Atlanta after McCann was announced. The Marlins prefer to trade Realmuto outside the NL East, but they have no choice but to consider such a determined suitor.
- Rays—Tampa Bay’s style is typically to exploit market inefficiencies rather than to bid on the marquee names. However, they were better in 2018 than most people realize and this addition would further close the gap with the two juggernauts in their division. These in-state rivals linked up on an Adeiny Hechavarria trade last year.
- Dodgers—This landing spot makes plenty of sense for both sides. The Dodgers likely want Grandal—who declined qualifying offer—to sign elsewhere so that they can add an early-round MLB Draft selection, and their farm system remains strong despite high-profile graduations in recent years.
- Rockies—Colorado came soooooo close to unseating L.A. atop the NL West last season. It will take big offensive improvements for them to threaten again. Realmuto’s line-drive profile seems ideal for Coors Field, while Brendan Rodgers would be a huge building block for the Marlins.
- Brewers—The Yelich trade didn’t entirely deplete their assets. Controllable through 2024, right-hander Brandon Woodruff has already shined in high-stakes major league games. Keston Hiura draws rave reviews for his hit tool. Paul Goldschmidt’s arrival turned up the heat on everybody else trying to compete for the NL Central crown.
- Astros—Houston was an obvious landing spot entering the 2018 season, and not much has changed. Robinson Chirinos replaced McCann as a fringy starter/outstanding backup type. The roster is constructed for chasing rings now.
- White Sox—They’re at the stage of a rebuild where a franchise feels the pressure to finally make some progress in the win column. I know a guy who could help with that!
Every single day until the Marlins finally pull the trigger on a Realmuto trade, I’ll be publishing and updating an article like this. You can find them all here.