Are the New York Yankees now the front runner to acquire Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto? Can a deal be worked out involving catcher Gary Sanchez?
It was almost a year ago that the New York Yankees acquired Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins that proved to be the beginning of the fire sale for the Derek Jeter-owned franchise. With news swirling over which team will make the right offer for catcher J.T. Realmuto, might it be the team in pinstripes that tempts the Marlins just enough to make the deal?
If the trade happens, it might be best for all concerned. The Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers are the teams many MLB insiders are writing about, however Brian Cashman and his front office are gaining on others in terms of rumors and possibilities.
Tyler Conway of Bleacher Report wrote on Nov. 29 the two teams have already had conversations about making a deal.
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"“The Marlins are looking to deal the catcher while he has two years of team control remaining. Miami engaged in talks with clubs last offseason but held off on a move,” he wrote.“Realmuto is considered perhaps the best catcher in baseball, producing above-average offensive numbers in the sport’s weakest position. He hit .277/.340/.484 with a career-high 21 home runs and 74 RBI in 2018.”"
The Marlins have two years of contract control for Realmuto, who had an offered tendered to him this past week as the 27-year-old is eligible for salary arbitration.
Gary Sanchez, who would be part of the deal, hit 18 home runs and 53 RBI but struggled at the plate last season with a .186 average.
Joe Frisaro wrote on Nov. 30 that the rumors about the Yankees being interested have heated up, but the other teams mentioned still remain in contention for Realmuto’s services.
"“The latest comes from MLB Network insider Jon Heyman in a report on Fancred Sports. Heyman lists the Astros, Dodgers and Yankees as possible landing spots for the Marlins’ All-Star catcher, and he adds that the 27-year-old is seeking an extension similar to Buster Posey’s contract (eight years, $154 million) with the Giants signed in March 2013,” he wrote."
Realmuto has no intention of signing a long-term deal with Miami. He still may play the 2019 season with the franchise. The Marlins still want him to be part of the change and move toward a playoff run in the next few seasons. The first-time All-Star was vocal about the changes to the roster and organization last offseason, asking to be traded then before he met with the front office to discuss the future for himself and the franchise.
Sanchez would give the Marlins a power hitter in the lineup and a backstop on par with Realmuto. His injury history should be a concern. The Marlins may also seek minor league prospects in the deal. The Astros and Dodgers have talen in their minor league systems that would appeal to Jeter and president of baseball operations, Michael Hill.
Other teams may join the party as the holiday season rolls on.
"“There is no shortage of speculation as to how the Realmuto sweepstakes may play out,” Frisaro wrote. “The storyline should intensify leading up to and during the Winter Meetings, which begin on Dec. 9.”"