Several teams have shown significant interest in Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, including the New York Mets and New York Yankees.
When my friend Doug Rush, a fellow sportswriter up in New York heard there was the potential of a deal between the Miami Marlins, New York Mets and New York Yankees that would send catcher J.T. Realmuto to Citi Field and Noah Syndergaard to the Bronx, he said we wasn’t going to sleep.
The deal has not been done and no word if it will happen, but the attention Major League teams have shown in the All-Star catcher has everyone buzzing at the Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas. While the Marlins have been willing to slow play their poker hand, it is evident some team will eventually come up with a deal to their liking.
Making a blockbuster deal like this proves how valuable Realmuto is viewed by Major League general managers and how moving from one National League East team to another might be the best thing to happen for everyone concerned.
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Personally, I’m still not a fan of trading within a division. And to further that thought, I still hold out hope the two sides can work out a deal to keep the game’s top player at his position in Marlins colors in 2019 and 2020.
"“There’s interest,” president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. “There’s significant interest.”"
A deal like this also proves other teams will continually get stronger as the Marlins look to plan for the future, not the present. The Marlins need to find a dance partner and move forward.
"“MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch confirmed that a deal has been discussed in which Realmuto would go to the Mets and Noah Syndergaard would be shipped crosstown to the Yankees,” Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports. “The deal is regarded as more of a long-shot scenario with multiple teams still in the mix.”"
There are as many as 14 teams rumored to be interested in Realmuto. Whether they have the right kind of players/prospects to make a deal is not known. The Yankees have the right kind of pairing to make it work. The Mets have MLB players the Marlins may have interest in.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros would have to part with top-level minor leaguers to have a shot at a trade. The Atlanta Braves may still be interested despite signing Brian McCann.
The Marlins must also factor into their plan a replacement player behind the dish. Bryan Holaday and Chad Wallach are veterans who do not have the same kind of power/defensive skill set as Realmuto. The team may seek a veteran in free agency.
Realmuto’s season at the plate – 21 home runs, 74 RBI, was his best in the Majors. He also was instrumental in helping a young pitching staff develop. He would be counted on to do the same thing should he remain in Miami in 2019.
Still, Hill and the front office are continuing to do their due diligence in resolving this situation, which is consuming a lot of time this offseason.
"“Lots of conversations,” Hill said. “We’ll see how things progress. The goal remains the same: we’re trying to get better. Not just short-term, but long-term.”"
The Marlins do have other needs as well, including finding relief help in the bullpen, a power-hitting first baseman, and depth on the bench.