With the news of the Los Angeles Dodgers re-acquiring catcher Russell Martin, have they taken themselves out of the running for the Marlins J.T. Realmuto?
Major League Baseball’s off season is all about supply and demand. Before I get into a discussion about economics, a topic I was awful at in high school, just know as the list of possibile suitors for Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto grows smaller, teams once in the hunt for the All-Star have filled their needs with other players.
The news on Friday of the Los Angeles Dodgers re-acquiring catcher Russell Martin from the Toronto Blue Jays may have thinned the market again. This after news this week that the Milwaukee Brewers signed former Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal. There’s a reason this deal, one that was throught to be perfect for both teams, has not been consumated. Even baseball insiders like Craig Mish cannot pinpoint what is going on.
If my math is correct, the addition by Los Angeles means another team subtracted from the Realmuto sweepstakes. While there are reports out on the web the Dodgers may still be interested in acquiring his services, the thought of giving up outfielder/first baseman Cody Bellinger is something their front office is unwilling to compromise on.
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"“The Dodgers could still trade for Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, but they’re now covered in case the asking price remains exorbitant,” explains Aiden Gonzalez of ESPN.com. “They can use what is still a deep 40-man roster and farm system to acquire a top-of-the-rotation starter like Cleveland Indians ace Corey Kluber. And if ownership agrees to exceed the $206 million threshold, they can also make a serious run at free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper.”"
The Dodgers were thought to be the frontrunners for this deal, along with the Atlanta Braves for some time, having the right combination of players and prospects to Marlins CEO Derek Jeter’s liking. But no deal has allowed other teams to jump in and make a pitch. No strikes have been thrown.
Mish took to Twitter on Jan. 8 to report the Braves have talked to Miami once again about grabbing Realmuto. Atlanta signed veteran Brian McCann in the offseason and still have Tyler Flowers on the roster. Neither has the combination of defensive/offensive skills as the 27-year-old.
Should a deal with the Braves get done, it would have to include any combination of at least one MLB player with a controllable contract.
Realmuto was one of five Marlins players who signed one-year deals with the team on Friday to avoid salary arbitration. The deal calls for him to make $5.9 million in 2019, a $3 million jump from last season. It does not mean he will remain with the club through the season. But the likelihood of him starting the season at Marlins Spring Training in a month becomes greater.
With the Dodgers potentially out of the running, the Braves, Tampa Bay Rays, San Diego Padres and Cincinnati Reds are still considered contenders. There is still a chance another MLB team jumps into the pool to test the trade waters.