The Miami Marlins and the Los Angeles Dodgers continue to dance in a potential trade that involved catcher J.T. Realmuto and minor league prospect Keibert Ruiz.
A potential deal between the Marlins and Los Angeles Dodgers may be picking up more steam as the two teams continue to negotiate terms and players involved, including catcher J.T. Realmuto. It now appears the Marlins have eyes on Dodgers catching prospect Keibert Ruiz as part of the package.
Joe Frisaro of MLB.com continues to report the two sides are still talking, but no deal has been reached. The Marlins begin Spring Training on Feb. 13 when pitchers and catcher report to the team’s facility in Jupiter, Florida.
"“Miami has had on-and-off dialogue with the Dodgers for most of the offseason for Realmuto, and five other teams are said to still be in the mix for the All-Star catcher: the Rays, Padres, Astros, Braves and Reds,” Frisaro writes.More from Marlins RumorsWhat can the Miami Marlins still do?Miami Marlins rumors: Ideal CF targetMiami Marlins rumors: Trade for CF?Miami Marlins rumors: A signing we needMiami Marlins rumors: Is Bobby Dalbec a target?“The Realmuto trade saga has been one of the most publicized Hot Stove stories, and Miami appears willing to hold out as long as possible until the right deal is in place. The club’s asking price has included a top prospect and more.”"
The Dodgers and Braves may be the top two teams in this race, but have also signed veteran backstops this offseason. Adding Realmuto would be a strong move to push both teams toward the top of the National League as World Series contenders. It would also mean whichever team lands Realmuto, they are willing to part with those top tier prospects and a player Miami can control contractually.
Because a deal has not been finalized as of yet, the likelihood of Realmuto being part of the Marlins camp is very real. It could also mean the team keeps him on the roster until the MLB Trade Deadline in July.
The Washington Nationals and the Marlins discussed trade talks all throughout the 2018 season beginning in February after Miami’s front office traded away its top players for prospects. The prevention the the NL East rivals finalizing a trade was when Marlins brass asked for the Nationals top prospects Juan Soto and/or Victor Robles.
Washington added Kurt Suzuki from Atlanta in free agency. The Braves brought back Brian McCann. The Dodgers were reunited with Russell Martin last week. A deal involving Ruiz adds some intrigue and the possibility of a deal being done within the next two weeks before Spring Training.
"“Ranked by MLB Pipeline as the No. 39 overall prospect, Ruiz is the Dodgers’ No. 2 prospect. The 20-year-old is a switch-hitter who is getting close to being big league ready,” Frisaro wrote. “At Double-A last year, Ruiz had a slash line of .268/.328/.401 with 12 home runs and 47 RBIs.”"
The Marlins lack depth in their minor league system. Trading Realmuto means there is no proven player behind the dish to replace him this season. Miami would also lose its biggest marketable player and its leading home run hitter in 2018.