Will the Los Angeles Dodgers jump to the front of the line in trying to acquire Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto this offseason?
"Per FanSided’s Dodgers Way, “The Dodgers are officially in need of a starting catcher after Yasmani Grandal declined the Dodgers’ qualifying offer. One catcher from Miami would be a big catch for the Dodgers.”"
It’s a deal that would make sense given Los Angeles has plenty of minor league trade pieces to offer in a deal that would send Miami’s best player to the west coast and out of the National League East.
The Atlanta Braves, Washington Nationals, and New York Mets have all expresses interest in adding a catcher this offseason. The Braves and Nationals have made it known they are interested in Realmuto. A deal with the Mets is unlikely because Miami’s front office hasn’t shown interest in any trade pieces from the Big Apple.
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"A deal with the Dodgers has more to do with replacing their starting catcher than it does the Marlins looking to send Realmuto packing. As Michael Wittman wrote, “The Dodgers found out on Monday that Yasmani Grandal rejected the Dodgers’ qualifying offer which seals the end of his tenure as a member of the Dodgers.”"
So the obvious question now is what would a trade involving Realmuto cost the Dodgers? The news of his decision to leave Miami, not working out a long-term deal with the team, sent the Hot Stove season into a frenzy as he becomes one of the more sought after players. The only thing preventing a blockbuster deal is the Marlins, who control his contract for the next two seasons.
Realmuto is eligible for arbitration this offseason and will become a free agent in 2021. Miami may ask for a roster player in addition to minor league prospects. There will be a need for a catcher should they let theirs go. Also, Miami has a hole at first base and could use depth in the bullpen.
"“A trade for Realmuto would be expensive, and likely cost the Dodgers a package like Caleb Ferguson, Will Smith, Gavin Lux, and Dustin May,” Wittman added. “It would be an expensive price to pay but the Dodgers desperately need a catcher for 2019.”"
The Dodgers could use Realmuto’s 21 home runs and 74 RBI he produced this past season in the middle of the order. He could also hit as high as second in any lineup.