The final four teams – San Diego, Atlanta, Cincinnati, and the Los Angeles Dodgers – are progressing in trade talks involving Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto.
As the national media watches the J.T. Realmuto trade discussion continues to build, the feeling is the talks involving the Marlins top star will lead to a deal being done potentially before the start of Spring Training.
Based on recent discussion, the Padres may be “the team” in the drivers seat with the other teams trying to play catch up.
"“It’s hard to gauge if there is a clear frontrunner, but if there is, it may be San Diego. The Reds also have been aggressive in recent days,” writes Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. “Atlanta has been lurking all offseason, and it has had conversations with the Marlins for more than a year.”"
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Of the four teams left, the Dodgers may have the most to offer, with a trade centered around Keibert Ruiz. The Padres have prospects to offer.
"Per Larry Brown Sports, “The Padres have been in rebuilding mode ever since their aggressive plan in 2015 fell flat. Now they have some serious prospects in the pipeline close to being ready, and they think they will be a contender in the coming years. It’s on them to decide when and how they will begin cashing in their chips.”"
The Marlins have reportedly demanded MLB players with contracts the organization can control as part of any deal for Realmuto.
The news of Realmuto’s decision to part ways with the organization has taken over the entire Hot Stove season and may be one of the reasons big-name stars like Manny Machado and Bryce Harper have not signed with other ballclubs.
The team hasn’t done much this offseason, but did sign veteran first baseman Neil Walker this week and could add veteran depth in the bullpen and possibly on the bench.
"“At least 14 clubs this offseason expressed some level of interest in Realmuto. The Astros and Rays recently were still active, but they appear to no longer be in the equation,” Frisaro wrote."
Although it is highly unlikely to happen, the Marlins still have the option of making Realmuto play out the remainder of his tenure in Miami. The team signed the 27-year-old to a $5.9 million one-year deal last month and has one more year of contractual control.