While there may be more than one option for the Miami Marlins regarding catcher J.T. Realmuto, the thing that makes the most sense is to sign him this offseason.
Now that the Boston Red Sox have won yet another World Series title, the MLB Hot Stove season is the next big event on the horizon. Whether or not Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto will be part of the offseason frenzy is still unknown.
The Marlins, in my opinion, should continue to work diligently to sign the All-Star to a long-term deal and build around one of the best backstops in all of baseball. There are other options the organization should consider, as MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro wrote.
The reality is Realmuto is the face of this ball club. Trading him away for prospects this winter helps the team in the long term, but takes away a much-needed leader on the field and in the clubhouse.
The Marlins want the 27-year-old to be part of the plans for the franchise’s future. Whether or not he and the team can work out a deal is still a big question mark.
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"“I think J.T. knows how we feel about him,” Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said in early October. “He had a tremendous season, an All-Star season. It’s great to see his talent finally being recognized throughout the industry. As I’ve said consistently, we want him to be a part of what we’re doing, in the long term.”"
Catchers who are solid defensively and hit for power are hard to come by these days. While baseball players are better athletes in this generation of superstars, having Realmuto already in the fold gives Miami a chance to develop a strong core of starting pitchers.
He is a coach on the field and calls a solid game, having patience with the way manager Don Mattingly has had to make changes to his pitching staff this past season. While he was not on board with the changes the front office made at first when Derek Jeter bought the ballclub, the veteran and others bought into what was being offered to them.
Realmuto was originally drafted by the Marlins in the third round of the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft as a shortstop and the 104th overall pick. He was converted to a catcher while playing in the team’s minor league system. His 21 home runs and 74 RBI paced the team this season and right now, he is the parent club’s only real power source.
"The problem the Marlins may have to work around is that according to Frisaro, “Realmuto will be entering his second season of arbitration after making $2.9 million this year. He isn’t eligible for free agency until 2021, so his trade value remains high right now. But will the Marlins deal him, if they can’t sign him?”"
There are teams out there with prospects to give up should they be able to work out a trade with the Marlins. Both Washington and Arizona were thought to be frontrunners to obtain his services before the regular season and at the MLB Trade Deadline, but deals could not be completed.
Also halting a potential new deal the frugal nature of the front office. The price tag for his services would be somewhere around $20 million per season. Jeter’s blueprint last season was to cut payroll and add prospects.
Miami must decide if they want to pay Realmuto like Buster Posey and Yadier Molina. And how do deals involving veterans Starlin Castro, Wei-Yin Chen and Martin Prado factor in when trying to punch numbers to make everything fit?
There are other options on the table, including a trade. The team could also sign him year-to-year. and keep his services until a long-term deal can be agreed to.