The Miami Marlins may have themselves to blame for overpricing a deal that would send All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto to another team this offseason.
The Miami Marlins have been the immovable object this offseason, not budging on their trade demands this offseason for catcher J.T. Realmuto. While Derek Jeter and the front office jas stated it wanted to work out a long-term deal with their star playing, making it difficult to work out a deal before the start of Spring Training has damaged the team’s ability to make other moves to help the Major League roster.
This bullish move could hurt the organization in the long run, which really is a matter of when the team will let Realmuto walk into another team’s clubhouse. Being a bully of sorts, the Marlins are proving despite their 63-98 record and crippled lineup, Jeter and company are making a statement that they want to be a power player in free agency and Hot Stove seasons to come.
It is also a game that could backfire on the franchise. Jeter has plans for the organization, looking to make Marlins Park a destination in Miami and attending a baseball game an experience rather than a death sentence.
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This might not have been the way to go about it.
There are a handful of teams that are still in the running to secure the services of the best all-around catcher in the game today. It comes at a steep price. It comes with a price tag that includes two years of contractual control – this season and 2020 – before Realmuto hits free agency. The San Diego Padres want to make a deal, but also want a window of negotiation so it can work out a contract extension before anything is finalized.
That’s sound business in Major League Baseball. And it further shows teams wanting a star like Realmuto may be more in control of this situation than we all once thought.
As David Hill of Call to the Pen wrote, “According to reports, they may be able to get just that as part of a package from the San Diego Padres. As part of the return from San Diego, the Marlins are asking for top catching prospect Francisco Mejia.”
The team is also interested in Los Angeles Dodgers catching prospect Keibert Ruiz. Miami cannot get nothing for something out of this trade, hence the hesitation to deal without players with contracts they can control and top prospects who can make the Marlins roster within the next two seasons.
It’s a statement once again that Jeter is willing to lose for another two seasons before his team, the one he is putting together can compete for mediocrity, let alone a potential playoff run. The Marlins must learn to crawl before walking and learn to walk before it can sprint around the bases.
When news broke that both the Padres and Dodgers had stepped up their game and made a bigger push to acquire Realmuto, it looked as if it was a matter of time (this past weekend) that a deal would get done. It’s Monday and the 27-year-old is still a member of Miami’s roster. I personally would love to see Realmuto have a change of heart and see this rebuilding effort through.
We all know that isn’t going to happen. Even if Realmuto is in the Opening Day lineup, he will be traded by the MLB Trade Deadline. By then, the damage will be done and the team will have lost its leverage in any discussion of a deal. The Marlins stood their ground last season in discussions with the Washington Nationals and dug its heels in the ground this offseason.
It could be too late.
The Yankees, Brewers, Mets and possibly 10 other teams were part of this circus when news broke of Realmuto’s decision to seek a deal elsewhere. Now, it has become a story of the Dodgers, Padres, Braves, Rays, Reds, and Astros. Something has to give.
In the meantime, Miami’s front office is still hoping to get everything it wants for sending away its most marketable player. Somehow, I don’t think that’s going to happen. This is what it has become. The Marlins must make a deal now or lose more later.