Marlins Rumors: The status of J.T. Realmuto and trade talks

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 11: J.T. Realmuto #11 of the Miami Marlins rounds second base after hitting a home run in the seventh inning against the San Francisco Giants at Marlins Park on June 11, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - JUNE 11: J.T. Realmuto #11 of the Miami Marlins rounds second base after hitting a home run in the seventh inning against the San Francisco Giants at Marlins Park on June 11, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /
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Do the Miami Marlins have enough time to work out a deal for J.T. Realmuto as the team prepares for Spring Training which is 22 days away?

After today, there will be three weeks until pitchers and catchers report to the Marlins Spring Training facility in Jupiter, Florida. The biggest question on everyone’s mind continues to be whether or not catcher J.T. Realmuto will attend camp or will he be wearing another jersey this coming season?

The fact remains a deal has not been reached with any of the handful of teams believed to be interested in obtaining Realmuto’s services. The Marlins have remained steadfast in their demands for the All-Star, some believing the asking price is too high for one player.

The other reason may be teams are waiting for other high-priced free agents to find a home before they pony up players and prospects to the Marlins, one of the worst teams in Major League Baseball.

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Joe Frisaro of MLB.com and other baseball analysts believe there is still plenty of time to make a deal before the Grapefruit League begins in earnest and teams take to the field with a new season on their minds.

"“Miami is asking for a lot in return — basically a top prospect and more — for arguably the best catcher in the game,” Frisaro points out. “Even with pitchers and catchers reporting on Feb. 13, there is still plenty of time to work out a deal.”"

It’s a situation the organization knows well from making a deal involving Christian Yelich in the 11th hour that sent him to Milwaukee for prospects who should become fixtures of this organization for years to come.

The front office knows it can stand pat, not making a move, and still expect a player they have contractual control over, show up with his teammates in South Florida. The new one-year, $5.9 million deal the team and Realmuto agreed to, avoiding arbitration, gives Miami more leverage here in making sure if a deal is not complete, their best player will be in a Marlins uniform at the start of camp.

"“Because Realmuto has two more seasons remaining in arbitration, the Marlins don’t have an urgency to make a trade before Spring Training opens,” Frisaro added. “They are prepared to carry him into camp and see how things play out.”"

This game of cat and mouse has gotten a bit old but remains compelling. It has also handcuffed the team’s progress of adding much-needed pieces to its roster. Derek Jeter and Michael Hill still have a wish list that has not been completed. They two may make additions to this organization at the last minute.

I believe the usual suspects we have discussed all offseason are still in the mix. Cincinnati, Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, San Diego Padres, Houston, and Tampa Bay Rays can all use Realmuto’s services. All have a player or two the Marlins desire. It’s the other players/prospects that are needed to make a deal work.

The Dodgers and Braves remain the frontrunners in my opinion, with enough prospects and a controllable MLB player to the Marlins liking. I’d rather see the 27-year-old out west than to have him beat his former employer and head to the playoffs.

"“The Dodgers’ recent acquisition of Russell Martin from the Blue Jays makes them more of an outsider, but they still could jump back into the picture,” Frisaro adds."

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If the front office cannot get a deal done sooner rather than later, there is a feeling he will be kept on the roster until the MLB Trade Deadline in July. It should make for a storyline that never seems to end. Realmuto is a piece of Miami’s rebuilding puzzle, but keeping him may create more issues than the franchise needs to deal with.

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