It appears a rumor started before Spring Training about the Washington Nationals looking to acquire Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto is about to resurface.
With the MLB Trade Deadline less than two weeks away, the Miami Marlins will have plenty of offers for the first-time All-Star. J.T. Realmuto wanted out of South Florida back in January, but has cooled on the notion, and has become one of the unquestioned leaders in the clubhouse and on the field.
Trading Realmuto would mean the Miami Marlins are giving up one of their core pieces to build around. It also means any team willing to make such a deal will relinquish a king’s ransom in return for arguably the best catcher in the National League.
“The Nationals could be willing to “revisit” talks with the Marlins about J.T. Realmuto, according to Fancred Sports’ Jon Heyman,” writes Mark Polishuk of mlbtraderumors.com.
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“The Nats have long been connected to Realmuto, though GM Mike Rizzo seemingly threw cold water on the potential of a trade a few weeks ago by saying that his team wasn’t willing to meet Miami’s very high asking price for the star catcher,” he added.
The Nationals and the Arizona Diamondbacks were the two teams generating the most attention during the spring. At one time, it was believed the Marlins received at least a dozen calls about Realmuto. Now that the All-Star Game activities have ended and the second half of the season commences on Friday, there may be more teams entering the conversation.
The Marlins have been clear all along that they are looking for top prospects in return for their top player. The Nationals have coveted prospects. Will they be willing to deal?
“Now, there is some belief that Washington could be open to dealing star outfield prospect Victor Robles, though Heyman notes that this is unconfirmed,” Polishuk wrote. “The Nats were firmly against the idea of dealing Robles or Carter Kieboom to the Marlins for Realmuto, which is what brought talks to a halt in the first place.”
When Miami began its fire sale in December of last year, it was clear they wanted prospects in return for veteran talent. The only veteran player who made his way to the Marlins was Starlin Castro from the New York Yankees.
Robles is the type of player Miami wants – a top 10 prospect overall with the ability to grow with the franchise. He does have a hyperextended elbow, which has kept him on the shelf almost all of the current season. He could be viewed as a building block player.
Because there are only a couple of weeks left before the trade deadline, he will have to prove he is free of injury and can resume full activity. MLB insiders believe his body of work is strong enough that he is still worth the high prospect ranking and a major injury is the only way he tumbles from being one of the most coveted players on the Major League level.