The Milwaukee Brewers are reported to be one of a handful of teams looking to make a deal this offseason involving Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto.
The last time the Miami Marlins and the Milwaukee Brewers talked trade, it involved outfielder Christian Yelich and led to the centerfielder winning the 2018 National League MVP Award. Now that rumors are swirling the Brewers are interested in catcher J.T. Realmuto, will a potential deal lead to the same kind of success for the one-time All-Star?
"Per a story on brewcrewball.com, “According to Jim Bowden of the Athletic (and former MLB GM), the Brewers are one of 10 teams that are still “in” on Miami Marlins catcher JT Realmuto.”"
There have been multiple stories circulating the past month about potential suitors for Realmuto, who has stated he does not wish to be a part of the team’s long-term plans. Houston, Atlanta, Washington, and the Los Angeles Dodgers have all been considered frontrunners.
Atlanta and Washington have added catchers in free agency to their rosters. Los Angeles has been the one team many baseball analysts believe can make the kind of deal Miami wants to secure Realmuto’s services.
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Enter Milwaukee, who lost in the NLCS this past season to the Dodgers. Adding Realmuto’s bat and presence behind the plate could be enough to put the Brewers in the 2019 World Series.
"“The 27 year old (28 next March) has a legitimate argument as the best catcher in baseball, batting .286/.338/.454 over the last three seasons with 49 home runs and 23 steals,” writes Kyle Lesniewski. “He’s coming off the finest season of his career after posting a .277/.340/.484 with 21 home runs in 531 trips to the plate for Miami in 2018. Realmuto was an All-Star and Silver Slugger Award winner, and he was also chosen to represent the MLB during last month’s Japan All-Star Series.”"
The trade involving Yelich netted the Marlins Major Leaguer Lewis Brinson and prospects Isan Diaz, Monte Harrison, and Jordan Yamamoto. All four could be part of the Marlins roster by the end of the 2019 season.
A move to trade Realmuto would mean the “core” of players the Marlins organization built its team around in the Jeffrey Loria era of the franchise would be erased. Realmuto is the last player standing after new owner Derek Jeter purged the team of veteran players for youth and inexperience to build for the future.
Realmuto voiced his displeasure of the team’s decisions last offseason and sought a trade prior to the 2018 season. Given the teams’ dealings last offseason, it is thought the Brewers could become a favorite for land the Miami star. It is believed any trade package would involve Milwaukee top prospect, second baseman Keston Hiura.
The Marlins may receive top prospects in return for Realmuto, but the front office has also made it clear they are seeking MLB level talent with contract control. The Marlins have set the market value high for their best player last season.