While other teams are making deals and setting their rosters for the 2019 season, the Miami Marlins are bidding time waiting to make the right deal for catcher J.T. Realmuto.
What are the Miami Marlins waiting for? Why hasn’t a deal involving catcher J.T. Realmuto already been made? It’s Christmas, the team has had plenty of offers and conversations from other MLB teams? So, as fans of the Marlins and baseball as a whole get a little impatient, what’s the holdup here?
The fact is, other MLB franchises are making changes to their rosters, clearing space in their minor league systems and making the most of their opportunities. The Marlins once again are proving to be the ones sitting still and watching everything happen around them.
There is a reason for it, but some of us who cannot stand the suspense, it does not seem right.
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"“This past season the 27-year-old Realmuto authored a .277/.340/.484 batting line with 30 doubles and 21 home runs in 125 games,” writes Mike Axisa of cbssports.com. “Add in strong pitch-framing and defense, and he led all catchers with 4.3 WAR. Realmuto is under control as an arbitration-eligible player through 2020, so he’s not a one-year rental. Trade for him now and you get two years of a top catcher.”"
Where Realmuto winds up is still up in the air and a deal, according to many sources, won’t be completed until the new year. This also means other teams could put together a package that might be too hard to pass up.
The Washington Nationals and New York Mets took themselves out of the frenzy when they inked free agent catchers this offseason.
The Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers are the front-runners right now to land Realmuto, but their trade offers must include players with MLB contracts Miami can control for the next few seasons.
Right now, the front office knows it has their catcher under contract for two seasons, which means in reality, the franchise can do nothing and still have his services in a new Marlins uniform this coming year.
That will not sit well with the player of his agent.
Axisa believes when it all done, the Dodgers will win the sweepstakes, with the Milwaukee Brewers and Houston Astros making a strong case for a trade.
"“The best and most obvious fit. Yasmani Grandal is a free agent and Austin Barnes is best used in moderation, plus catching prospects Will Smith and Keibert Ruiz need more time in the minors,” he explains.“And the Dodgers are very much trying to get over the hump and win a World Series. They have the prospects to trade and the need behind the plate, and Realmuto’s two years of control line up perfectly with Smith’s and Ruiz’s timetable. Los Angeles is the clear No. 1 landing spot for Realmuto.”"
In his list of all 30 MLB teams and where they rank in trying to obtain Realmuto, Axisa has the Marlins last amongst the franchises.