The Miami Marlins have more issues on their plate than what to do about catcher J.T. Realmuto. Is his status holding the team hostage in free agency?
It was a common theme last season during MLB free agency. Both Giancarlo Stanton and Shohei Ohtani were the two big fish out there who were holding teams hostage while their drama unfolded during the Hot Stove season. After the Miami Marlins traded Stanton to the Yankees and Ohtani signed with the Angels, things began to fall into place.
It may not be the same exact thing, but in a sense, the potential trade of catcher J.T. Realmuto may be holding Miami’s front office back from making the necessary moves in free agency this offseason.
As baseball insiders have discussed, the free agent moves involving big-name stars have slowed a bit. Realmuto’s name is part of the discussion because of his value to a franchise looking to add his bat and his defense behind the plate.
More from Marlins News
- Why didn’t the Miami Marlins sign JDM?
- Miami Marlins rejected Boston‘s trade offer
- Miami Marlins are pursuing Michael Conforto
- Miami Marlins need to spend to win
- Miami Marlins can’t afford to botch this trade
"“The impression I am getting is there is a bit of a domino effect going on regarding Realmuto. The industry is waiting to see where free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado land,” Joe Frisaro of MLB.com writes.”“If, for example, Harper signs with the Phillies, that may motivate the Braves to make a stronger push for Realmuto. Or what if the Yankees — or another club that has backed away in recent weeks — feel more compelled to pick up negotiations? How the marquee free agents play out will also drive the market.”"
The Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, Tampa Bay Rays, Cincinnati Reds and San Diego Padres continue to be the teams we talk about when making a deal. There could be another team or two that jumps into the discussion before a trade is finally done. It could also mean Realmuto isn’t dealt until the regular season begins.
Yes, Frisaro and I are of the same mindset. The 27-year-old is blocking the front office from getting other business accomplished.
"“There are many moving parts going on with Realmuto, which has moved free agency for the Marlins to the back burner,” he added."
At the Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, the Marlins were searching for veteran relief help, depth for the bench and potentially a catcher to replace their starter. Nothing has happened yet and there are plenty of holes to fill.
Time is growing shorter as the start of Spring Training is less than a month away. The Marlins must find a first baseman and help in the bullpen before it can trade Realmuto. The team signed him to a one-year, $5.9 million deal last week.
If the Marlins continue to sit in a holding pattern, there may be a sense of panic. Because of Stanton’s contract last season, the organization traded him to New York for less than his worth at the time. Miami does not want to face that situation again with their best player on the roster.