The Miami Marlins are in no rush to make a deal regarding their All-Star catcher and top draw, J.T. Realmuto during this offseason.
This might be one of the longest games of poker played by the Miami Marlins this offseason when it comes to making a deal for catcher J.T. Realmuto. The front office continues to bide its time, letting teams to come to them to inquire about availability and what it would cost for a Monte Hall-sized transaction.
The Marlins hold all the cards, having Realmuto, 27, under contract through 2020. What’s behind Door 1 or Door 2 has more to do with what CEO Derek Jeter will accept in return for a player they were willing to sign to a long-term deal, but according to several sources, they low-balled at the offer table.
Now, the front office can keep a poker face, not revealing its true desire to either deal him for MLB players and prospects, or to make him play under a contract to be determined through salary arbitration. The Marlins tendered Realmuto and five other players last week at the MLB deadline.
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"“As it pertains to J.T., he’s on our club,” Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. “We control him for two more years, and that’s really all that needs to be said from our standpoint.”"
After last season’s purge and demolition of a star-studded lineup that did not produce a winning season since 2009, Miami should take its time doing what is right for the organization first.
There have been no less than 14 teams that have reacjed out to Miami, according to Frisaro and other publications. We know the Nationals, Braves, Yankees, Dodgers, Astros, Rays, Blue Jays, Padres and Brewers are the most prominent organizations with others sprinkled in.
Atlanta and Washington has both added catchers in free agency, potentially eliminating them from pursuing the 27-year-old.
"“The Marlins are anticipating to be far less active at the 2018 Winter Meetings, which begin Monday in Las Vegas. But they have at least one marquee player who could be on the move before the Meetings conclude on Thursday,” added Frisaro.“Whether All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto is traded or not is expected to be decided over the course of the week.”"
The likelihood of this story, which has been just as hot as Bryce Harper and Manny Machado hit the free agent market, could continue through the new year and possibly toward the start of Spring Training.
It is expected that Realmuto will make somewhere in the vicinity of $6.1 million in 2019 based on arbitration numbers. The Marlins can still sign him to a long-term deal, however the longer the news of a trade drags on the less likely the two sides will agree to anything in writing.