Marlins Rumors: Cincinnati Reds make play for J.T. Realmuto

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 11: J.T. Realmuto #11 of the Miami Marlins reacts after being called out on strikes looking in the first inning against the New York Mets at Marlins Park on August 11, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 11: J.T. Realmuto #11 of the Miami Marlins reacts after being called out on strikes looking in the first inning against the New York Mets at Marlins Park on August 11, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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The Cincinnati Reds continue to remain one of the handful of teams interested in trading for Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto.

The news over the Internet and amongst MLB circles has been how teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros have not been able to pull off a deal with the Miami Marlins for catcher J.T. Realmuto.

There is less than a month remaining until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training (Hallelujah!) and with the Marlins front office sitting and waiting for teams to meet there trade demands, fans wonder if a deal will get done and will they see No. 11 in camp, ready to work on the 2019 season,

There are other teams out there, like the Cincinnati Reds, that appear ready to make a deal if the Marlins come down on their request and demands. While the Reds, Padres, and Rays stick around in this quest to get the best all-around catcher in the game, it might be a case of which side blinks first.

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The last time the Marlins and Reds made a “big deal” prior to the start of Spring Training, the Reds traded Dan Straily to the Miami Marlins for Luis Castillo, Austin Brice, and Isaiah White in 2017. Straily remains one of the workhorses of Miami’s rotation and could become another double-digit winner if injuries do not cut his season short once again.

Losing Realmuto was a reality a month ago. Now, it’s a “wait and see” for MLB’s landscape. The Reds right now have as good a shot as any of the organizations on the short list. Per Wick Terrell of Reds Reporter, the team still have a chance, as he wrote on Jan. 10.

"“…the Reds are still in the mix for top catching trade target J.T. Realmuto, suggesting that they have maintained interest in both of the top available catchers this deep into the offseason,” he wrote."

The Marlins have maintained they want Major League players with controllable contracts and/or high-profile prospects in return for Realmuto. Most insiders will tell you the asking price is a bit high, but Miami’s front office does not want to get caught in a crunch as it did with the New York Yankees and Giancarlo Stanton where the return was not as great as it could have been.

Miami does not have to move Realmuto just yet, signing him to a one-year, $5.9 million contract to avoid salary arbitration. The team has one more year of contract control of the 27-year-old first time All-Star.

What would the Reds give up to claim the player they desire? Terrell offers this nugget as to how the Reds have been working to make this deal happen.

"“That the Reds have explored a major catching addition appears to be a pretty consistent theme we’ve seen revealed, as they were initially connected to Realmuto almost a full month ago,” Terrell explains. “How serious they are about it, however, remains to be seen, especially given that Tucker Barnhart is a Gold Glove winner under team control for up to 4 more years at a quite reasonable $18.5 million total.”"

The offer may be a consideration for the Marlins, but the front office must find a replacement of Realmuto’s bat and his defense behind the plate. Also, the trad would need more components for Miami to strongly consider it. Then there are other teams that must bow out fo contention, which isn’t likely at the moment.

"“There is certainly a wide gap between what Tucker can provide and what could reasonably be expected from Realmuto, who has been valued at 7.9 total bWAR since the start of the 2017 season, but given that the Reds still have needs on the pitching staff and potentially in CF, catcher doesn’t exactly stand out as a primary issue that needs fixing,” Terrell wrote."

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