If the Los Angeles Dodgers are still part of the shrinking group of MLB teams still interested in making a deal for Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, why hasn’t it happened?
Can someone tell me why the Los Angeles Dodgers, in their pursuit of landing big-name hitters this offseason and a backstop to balance their pitching staff, have not acquired Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto?
The one team that appears to be the most equipped to handle the Marlins trade demands have slowed the pace a bit in their pursuit of the best catcher in the Majors. For Miami’s front office, it’s a step closer to having Realmuto on the Opening Day roster.
For Los Angeles, it’s about money, prospects and other MLB stars they would like to add to their array of talent.
It appears the request by the Marlins to add Cody Bellinger as part of the package might be the reason for the holdup. The Dodgers want to keep their first baseman/outfielder on the roster. Miami, in need of a power hitter and a first baseman, want the best players/prospects they can rangel from a team in return for their best player on the roster.
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A week ago on Marlin Maniac, I wrote the Dodgers front office might be rethinking a deal with the Marlins, but it did not mean they were out of the running for Realmuto’s services. This is about supply and demand in the world of baseball. The Dodgers want Realmuto, but the asking price in their eyes might be higher than what they perceive is the 27-year-old’s worth.
Realmuto is in the prime of his baseball career that will expectedly get better over the next few seasons. Miami wants to cash in while their star is white hot on the trade market. They also would love to see him in a Marlins uniform on Opening Day.
Jon Heyman of Fancred wrote on his Twitter page that despite the high price the Marlins are asking for Realmuto, there are some baseball insiders who understand what the team is doing with their request. He also said that even if the Dodgers are balking at giving up Bellinger, and he sees why, having the young star as part of the deal is not a crazy request.
The Dodgers hit a long ball out of the park before the new year with a trade with Cincinnati that brought pitcher Homer Bailey to the left coast and sent Yasiel Puig and others to the Reds. The thought then was the deal was to clear money for more trades or free agent deals that could include slugger Bryce Harper, pitcher Corey Kluber and Realmuto. No deal has been done with either player.
Now, there is talk the Washington Nationals are once again the frontrunner to re-sign Harper. This makes the decision for Realmuto even more puzzling as the team still needs a catcher despite their minor league system of prospects.
The Marlins are still going to slow play this potential move of Realmuto. Like it has been discussed many times over, this organization has control of his contract this season and 2020 before he can test free agency. The team made a contract offer to him as he was arbitration eligible. The front office believes Realmuto will be in camp for Spring Training in February.
Bottom line, unless a deal gets done in the next few weeks with Los Angeles, the likelihood of there being a trade becomes more unlikely. Like talk in the past with Washington, a team that had been pursuing Realmuto all last season, the Marlins demands for players/prospects were the sole reason a deal did not get done.
While the trade market has been bullish on the Marlins desires, the South Florida team has been just as tough in coming down off their trade demands.