The recent news that Brian McCann is returning to Atlanta could mean the Braves have taken themselves out of the running to land Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto.
First, it was the Washington Nationals and now, it appears that the Atlanta Braves are taking themselves out of the running to land Miami Marlins star J.T. Realmuto. The move may also be a response to the Marlins letting other organizations know they want top prospects for Realmuto, who is still under contract with the franchise for the next two seasons.
The Braves could still look to add Realmuto to their roster, but the organization does not want to have to part with a top pitching prospect in the process.
"“The Braves had been one of the clubs most mentioned as a potential landing spot for Realmuto, the 27-year-old Miami catcher who statistically made a case in 2018 that he is the best at his position,” Joe Frisaro wrote."
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The thought is the Marlins want right-hander Mike Soroka in return. Soroka is the Braves No. 1 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ranks 20th on Pipeline’s Top 100 list.
The same kind of package would have to be offered by the Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros or any other team looking to entice Miami with a deal.
The Marlins had planned to offer Realmuto a long-term deal with the organization over the winter, but he and his agent put an end to that with a statement he did not want to return to Miami for the 2019 season. Realmuto is arbitration eligible this winter and next offseason and is projected to make in the neighborhood of $6 million in 2019.
The Marlins front office has been firm in their stance that there is nothing the team needs to do in this situation. A deal would have to basically be too good to pass up for it to be accepted. Unlike Giancarlo Stanton last season, the Marlins have some leverage this offseason.
"“The Dodgers, Astros, and others remain realistic options for Realmuto, who has expressed he is not interested in signing a contract extension with the Marlins,” Frisaro wrote.“The Marlins and Braves had discussed Realmuto since last offseason. Then, Miami sought outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. in return. Acuna was the National League Rookie of the Year Award winner in 2018.”"
There are other teams out there that have not publically made it known they are interested in Realmuto. That could change as top stars sign this offseason, opening the market a bit for teams to bid of his services.