Atlanta Braves ramp up trade interest in Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: J.T. Realmuto #11 of the Miami Marlins celebrates with his teammates in the dugout after scoring a run in the ninth inning against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field on September 11, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: J.T. Realmuto #11 of the Miami Marlins celebrates with his teammates in the dugout after scoring a run in the ninth inning against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field on September 11, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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The Atlanta Braves appear to have increased their interest in Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto as the NL East teams could enter trade talks.

I think it was Han Solo who uttered the words, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this” in the first Star Wars movie, “A New Hope”. I myself am repeating the same words when I read stories that the Atlanta Braves are growing more interested in making a trade for Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto.

That might also be the only time you read me make a Star Wars reference in a baseball trade story.

The Braves have one of the best minor league systems in the Majors, but taking the Marlins top star off their hands is more like twisting a knife deeper in a wound that ultimately will push the South Florida team’s ascension toward the top of the National League East back a few more steps.

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I said it twice and I will say it again – trading players within a division are never good for both sides.

"As Matt Kelly wrote on MLB.com, “SiriusXM’s Craig Mish reported Wednesday that the Braves made a strong offer to the Marlins for Realmuto, though that has not been confirmed by MLB.com. MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports that eight to 10 teams have checked in with Miami about the star catcher.”"

There were at least 10-12 teams that looked into potentially trading for Realmuto last offseason when the organization was letting go of their core of young talent.

Some may have thought keeping the 27-year-old around for the 2018 season was a bit odd given the fire sale the front office had in eliminating its most successful players.

The Braves used a platoon mostly of Tyler Flowers and Kurt Suzuki last season. Suzuki is now a free agent and Flowers does not have the skills Realmuto does behind the plate of the bat he would bring to Atlanta’s improving lineup.

Adding Realmuto may very well make Atlanta a World Series contender. And his ability to guide a young pitching staff would prove invaluable.

"“Acquiring Realmuto via trade would likely cost Atlanta several top prospects and perhaps a current Major Leaguer as well,” Kelly added. “The Braves possess one of the game’s top farm systems, per MLB Pipeline.”"

Would the Marlins entertain obtaining a pitcher or two, knowing they have a young core of pitchers in the minors and on the Major League roster? How would a deal like this affect Miami’s prospects and the future of the pitching staff?

There is no sense of urgency for the Marlins to immediately work out a deal for Realmuto, a player the team controls for the next two seasons. This is a decision Realmuto made, not the organization. In the end, Miami will dictate where he plays next season, even if it is not with his current team in 2019.

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