The Miami Marlins would prefer to trade catcher J.T. Realmuto before it makes any more moves to its roster. That may be an issue with the team’s needs at multiple positions this offseason.
The clock is ticking and every National League East team with the exception of the Miami Marlins have done something to improve its roster. What is the team in South Florida waiting for? It could be a myriad of things, not mention the continuing situation with J.T. Realmuto.
The team signed the catcher to a one-year deal last week to avoid salary arbitration. He remains under contract for 2019 and 2020. It is expected he will be dealt this season, if not before the team heads to Spring Training on Feb. 13.
As Dayn Perry of CBS Sports wrote, the team wants to add payroll, but first the organization must make a few deals for that to happen. Realmuto has hampered the team’s offseason plan, so to speak. They need help in the bullpen, depth on the bench and a starter at first base but cannot add pieces to their developing puzzle.
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It’s a trickle down process that starts with one mega trade. Other players, like pitcher Dan Straily could also be on the move.
"“All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto has been on the block for some time, but thus far no team has met Miami’s reportedly high asking price. In related matters, a number of teams — the Mets, Nationals, Brewers, Angels, Rays and perhaps Braves among them — have met their needs at catcher,” Perry adds.“Thus the Marlins are left with a thinner crop of potential trading partners. At the same time, though, those remaining clubs have many fewer options available to them. Since contenders are sometimes hesitant to acquire a new starting catcher during the season, and Marlins may be best suited to get something done before Opening Day.”"
It means the likelihood of Realmuto croaching behind the dish on Opening Day.
One of the names Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald talked about, a deal for Dan Straily is a real possibility.
Straily was 5-6 last season due to injuries at the beginning and end of the season. He is the stable veteran manager Don Mattingly has been able to rely on to eat innings and balance a young rotation the past two seasons.
"“They have $64 million committed to eight players: Wei-Yin Chen ($20 million), Martin Prado ($15 million), Starlin Castro ($11 million), Realmuto ($5.9 million), Dan Straily ($5 million), Miguel Rojas ($3.15 million), Jose Urena ($3.2 million) and Adam Conley ($1.1 million),” Jackson wrote.“Factoring in low-money deals for the rest of the players currently on the potential 25-man roster — none of whom are eligible for arbitration — that would bring the payroll to about $74 million-$75 million… The Marlins are planning a payroll in the $80 million to $85 million range.”"
Most teams cannot win with that kind of frugality.
If Straily is traded, it also means the team expects one of their young arms to step forward into the No. 2 slot in the rotation. Sandy Alcantara throws heat, but has shown inconsistency and control issues. Caleb Smith is still dealing with an injury. Pablo Lopez was solid on the mound before he suffered from the injury bug as well.
Urena will be the team’s ace and Opening Day starter.
The best case scenario is Straily remains on the team’s roster until the MLB Trade Deadline in July and is dealt to a contender. This is a franchise that could improve its win total by 10 games if both he and Realmuto remain on the roster.
The likelihood of both players getting through the season in a Marlins uniform is very slim.