What happens to the Miami Marlins once a deal for J.T. Realmuto is complete? What will this organization do next to prepare for the 2019 season?
So much has been made this offseason and time consumed attempting to get a deal done, the Marlins front office has fallen behind its attempts to help other areas of the roster. If this is being held hostage by one signature move, then the front office must quickly address other needs and have this franchise set to move forward without their top player.
Yes, there is still a chance nothing gets done before the start of Spring Training, but its a better chance the organization will want to move forward, collecting MLB level talent and prospects in the process.
Here are three things that must happen for the Marlins once they can work out a trade deal for Realmuto.
Finding a first baseman – Now, the Marlins may be in the market for a veteran first baseman. While Peter O’Brien would appear to be the team’s first choice, I see a scenario where they still look for a veteran for competition.
There are still a few names out there that could emerge as low risk, high reward options.
Logan Morrison is still out there. The player who was originally drafted by Miami could make his return to the organization. It would also give the Marlins some power in the middle of the lineup.
Another option is Eric Thames of Milwaukee. There could be a deal worked where Thames comes to the Marlins and either second basemen Starlin Castro is dealt or starting pitcher Dan Straily finds a new home.
Is relief help on the way? – Michael Hill, the president of baseball operations for the team, made it clear at the Baseball Winter Meetings the team wanted to find a veteran reliever and possibly a closer to compete in camp.
Trade talks for Realmuto have stunted the team’s ability to make that happen. And now with two weeks left until camp opens, the Marlins still need a quality, and reliable arm out of the pen.
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There are still a few names out there that might the on the Marlins wish list.
Look for the front office to scour free agency to find at least one left-handed reliever they can sign at a reasonable price to come down to Jupiter.
Bud Norris is still out there. I think the Marlins take a long look and see whether he is a viable option.
Find Realmuto’s replacement – The Marlins have asked for catching prospect as part of the deal from the team that acquires Realmuto.
Bryan Holaday was brought back after he was released. Chad Wallach is the only veteran technically on the roster right now. While both players are solid defensively, they cannot match their former teammate’s offensive output.
The Marlins aren’t going to invest a lot of money at the position, and will likely go into the season at a disadvantage behind the dish. If minor league prospects come to the Marlins in the Realmuto deal, they still will need grooming before they make it to the Major-League level.
Miami can’t fastrack either one of them or they may stunt their development.