He has been on the market for months, but the Marlins still haven’t received a trade offer they like for J.T. Realmuto, the best catcher in baseball. Maybe that’s because some in the industry disagree about his value?
MLB Network’s Top 10 Right Now program continued this past week by ranking the catcher’s position. After crunching all the numbers, “The Shredder” put the Marlins All-Star at No. 2, trailing former NL MVP Buster Posey.
The full Top 10:
- Yasmani Grandal
- Gary Sánchez
- Wilson Contreras
- Yadier Molina
- Kurt Suzuki
- Wilson Ramos
- Mike Zunino
- Salvador Pérez
Brian Kenny and longtime MLB catcher/manager Joe Girardi appeared on the episode. Realmuto was the top catcher on each of their personal lists.
Here’s Girardi’s breakdown:
“Over the last five years, his OPS numbers and his home run numbers have been on the rise and I believe that they’re going to continue to rise. He doesn’t play in a hitter’s ballpark down in Miami, that’s the one thing. But this is best athlete amongst the group of the top-10 catchers. He’s gonna steal bases, he’s gonna go first to third, first to home on balls in the gap. You look at his offensive numbers, he’s a special offensive player and he’s a pretty darn good catcher. He’s had to handle so many different pitchers over the last four or five years because of all the changes in Miami. He’s an above-average thrower with great accuracy, he does a good job framing, his pitch selection is pretty good and he’s got a lot of young kids to work with, so I give him a lot of credit because this is a really good player.”
Fan voting had Realmuto as the runner-up behind...Yadier Molina? Yikes.
On the bright side, Realmuto’s career year improved his stock across the board. The Shredder ranked him No. 5 during the 2018 edition of this exercise. Kenny and Dave Valle—working as the analyst instead of Girardi—put him at No. 3 and No. 7, respectively.
Still, Posey over Realmuto is a perplexing choice.
This is how the voting SHOULD have gone... pic.twitter.com/d5aTp4raJz— Ely Sussman (@RealEly) January 20, 2019
Comparing their most recent seasons is no contest:
- Posey—.284/.359/.382, .341 xwOBA, 106 wRC+, 2.0 fWAR in 105 G
- Realmuto—.277/.340/.484, .346 xwOBA, 126 wRC+, 4.8 fWAR in 125 G
Posey is also four years older than Realmuto and coming off hip surgery. With all due respect to the Giants legend, he’s seemingly entering the decline phase of his career.
In negotiations with the Marlins last year, Realmuto’s camp reportedly likened him to prime Posey in order to push for a similar contract extension (eight years, $159 million). That’s a bit extreme, as his on-base skills still pale in comparison to Posey’s earlier this decade.
The bottom line, though, is Realmuto sticks out as the consensus best available player at his position. Turning 28 in March, he certainly appeals to contending teams. The question is whether or not the Marlins eventually compromise on their sky-high asking price.