Will Marlins Realmuto Have Hand In NL Playoff Race?

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 19: J.T. Realmuto
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 19: J.T. Realmuto /

The Miami Marlins have no chance of making the National League playoffs, but that does not mean one of its players, catcher J.T. Realmuto isn’t someone who can have a hand in another team’s fortune or misfortune.

It’s a known fact there is no chance the Miami Marlins will make the 2018 playoffs. There is, however, a chance that the play of catcher J.T. Realmuto could affect another team’s chances of making the postseason.

The team’s only All-Star, Realmuto picked up where he left off before the All-Star Game and remains the team’s best player and brightest star.

"Todd Zolecki of MLB.com recently wrote a piece on “These 5 game-changers could decide NL East.” The Marlins an Mets are out of contention, but the race between the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies has been one of the better stories this season. The Washington Nationals still have an outside shot at the postseason but need some serious help."

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Realmuto, regarded by many as the best all-around catcher in the game today, could change some team’s fortunes with one swing of the bat or one play behind the dish.

For the season, Realmuto has hit 15 home runs while knocking in 58 RBI and has been hitting .293. And to think he started the season on the disabled list with a back contusion he suffered in Spring Training.

Zolecki wrote Realmuto’s athleticism could make a difference in the final five weeks of the season.

"“Realmuto’s 28.6 feet per second sprint speed is the fastest among MLB catchers. His average pop time (1.89 seconds) ranks third,” Zolecki writes. “His max-effort throws (87.3 mph) rank fourth. Realmuto’s ability to hit, run and control the running game makes him the total package behind the plate, and that’s why Miami won’t trade him unless it gets a boatload of players in return.”"

While the MLB.com writer thinks a trade is virtually impossible, I believe there will still be plenty of suitors this offseason willing to try and make a deal. Teams with the best minor league systems are a good bet to take that chance.

The Washington Nationals were the team in “hot pursuit” of Realmuto at the MLB Trade Deadline, but could not agree to terms with Miami. The demand for players in the Nationals minor league system may have been too high. That does not mean the franchise won’t try to play hardball again this offseason.

There is also talk the New York Yankees may be willing to swap Realmuto for catcher Gary Sanchez. Jon Heyman of fancred.com offered the possible deal.

"“Some Yankees personnel remain concerned about the defense of Gary Sanchez. You wonder if they could include Sanchez in a package for J.T. Realmuto,” he wrote."

The Atlanta Braves also checked in on Realmuto before the deadline to gauge what a deal might cost them, Heyman added in his story.

Zolecki wrote about five players from the National League, talking about that one moment that set them apart from other players. For Realmuto, it was his ability to tag Amed Rosario stealing on May 23.

"“At the time, it was the fastest pop time to second base on a caught stealing since Statcast™’s debut in 2015. (It’s now the second fastest.),” Zolecki wrote."

Even with the acknowledgement of how good a player Realmuto has been, it would be tough to see him dealt without an over-the-top deal being offered that included top-tier minor league prospects in return.