Despite his desire to play elsewhere in 2019, catcher J.T. Realmuto knows the decision to trade him will come from the Miami Marlins.
J.T. Realmuto may have created plenty of noise with his decision to ask for a trade before the 2019 baseball season, but that doesn’t mean he is sitting around waiting for a deal to get done. The Miami Marlins catcher is crushing baseballs in Japan while part of an MLB All-Star exhibition team. He said he knows any decision on a trade or where he plays next year is in the hands of the Marlins front office.
Realmuto may be playing a “wait and see” game, but the fact remains he has a home to play baseball in 2019 for the moment. It just might not be where he wants to swing a bat.
"“It’s not a discussion for me to have, honestly,” Realmuto said Friday via the Associated Press in a story that appears on ESPN.com.“It’s not my decision whether I get traded or not. It’s up to the Marlins. Whatever they want to do with me, that’s up to them. So for me, there is really no discussion to be had. My job is to show up and play baseball.”"
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In reality, there is a solid chance that Realmuto remains in Miami for the upcoming season, although he would remain the subject of trade rumors leading up to the MLB non-waiver trade deadline. There are a host of teams ready to offer the Marlins a deal according to numerous sources. The news of Realmuto wanting out of Miami is not new as he asked for a trade last season prior to Spring Training.
The Marlins have plenty of options when dealing with their All-Star catcher. Each one makes sense and could make the team better for the future. As Joe Frisaro wrote, Miami could sign him to a long-term deal, which Realmuto stated through his agent that is not an option. They could trade him for prospects and possible Major Leaguers. They could also sign him year-to-year.
Remember, the Marlins control the next two years of Realmuto’s contract before he tests free agency. Given he had the best year of his career at the plate, he would become one of the five most sought-after players this offseason should the Marlins announce they are trading him.
"“The All-Star catcher is the face of their franchise, but since Realmuto isn’t signed long-term, he likely will be the subject of plenty of trade rumors,” Frisaro wrote."
If the Marlins were to convince Realmuto to stay in Miami and become the focus of the rebuilding project, it would come at a price the team may have to make adjustments to their payroll for. It is believed a deal to keep him on the roster would level off at somewhere around $20 million per year.