After the J.T. Realmuto Trade: What do the Marlins do now?

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 13: Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter looks on during batting practice with manager Don Mattingly #8 prior to the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Marlins Park on April 13, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - APRIL 13: Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter looks on during batting practice with manager Don Mattingly #8 prior to the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Marlins Park on April 13, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Now that the Miami Marlins have traded catcher J.T. Realmuto to the Philadelphia Phillies what will the organization focus on next?

It was a bittersweet day in Miami on Thursday. After months of listening to offers and working the phone lines to come up with the right deal, the Marlins finally traded catcher J.T. Realmuto to the Philadelphia Phillies. It’s a move that while hurts the team because of their former player’s growing greatness, it may also provide a bit of relief for the franchise.

The saga related to all of this is now over. The Miami Marlins can move forward.

This wasn’t a deal like the others before Realmuto that saw the front office rip apart a core of young and talented players. This was a long, debilitating journey that handcuffed the team’s movement in free agency and made the organization look unwilling to budge from trade demands. Now, the Marlins will face their former star in a division that could be one of the better ones in Major League Baseball this season.

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The New York Yankees benefitted from Giancarlo Stanton. The St. Louis Cardinals got Marcell Ozuna. The Milwaukee Brewers made the postseason thanks to MVP Christian Yelich. The Phillies will be an improved team with Realmuto behind the dish. If anything, the Marlins cannot change their path of development. The plan must remain the same.

"“At a time in the sport where depth is paramount to becoming a serious championship contender, the Marlins have stayed trued to their philosophy to infuse as much talent into the system as possible, with the vision of eventually allowing it to progress upwards to the Major League level. It’s still a work in progress,” Joe Frisaro of wrote."

It’s true of young organizations that have won titles or become championship contenders. The Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, Cleveland Indians, and Atlanta Braves have all gone through the growing pains of failure followed by success. The Milwaukee Brewers and Oakland As are enjoying the thrill of winning after building a solid nucleus of players.

The Marlins are a slow and plodding path toward what Derek Jeter hopes will be a third World Series title in the next few seasons.

The loss of Realmuto, however damaging it is, was the right thing for the Marlins, taking away any connection to the former ownership group of the organization. Realmuto demanded a trade before Spring Training last season. While Miami wanted him to be the centerpiece of the rebuilding project, the marriage would not last. The Marlins got a serviceable catcher in Jorge Alfaro and solid minor league prospects in return for their investment.

Like the deals consummated last year, we won’t know how these deals work until players development. While fans like myself don’t like it, time is something we all need to let happen.

In acquiring right-hander Sixto Sanchez, the Marlins added another solid minor league prospect and gives their system more depth. Sanchez is yet another player who could become a frontline starter. Like the Atlanta Braves of the early 1990s, we all have learned you can never have too many young arms on hand in your farm system.

Finally, the trade provides a chance of direction for Miami as Spring Training is only a few days away. Frisaro commented on it in another story on

"“The deal brings closure to one of the most talked about potential trade pieces in years,” he explained on Thursday. “The entire offseason was consumed with where Realmuto may wind up, and he was finally dealt six days before pitcher and catcher workouts begin for the Marlins.”"

The move also gives Miami more bonus pool money to concentrate on acquiring more international stars like Victor Mesa and Victor Mesa, Jr. – who were both signed this offseason from Cuba.

I wrote last week the Marlins are still moving in the right direction. After Thursday’s trade, I still believe that. After writing for the past year about this organization, seeing the changes in personnel and taking a deeper look into the improvements from Single-A ball up to the Major League level, this blueprint Jeter talked about last year before the start of Spring Training is working.

It may take a few more years, but these Marlins will be contenders and could challenge for a World Series title before 2025. I realize it’s a pipe dream now. Patience, as Jeter has preached since taking over as CEO in October of 2017, is paramount.

Next. Marlins send J.T. Realmuto to Philadelphia. dark

Once the dust settles and players come to camp next week, the focus will be on this team for the 2019 season. Realmuto will still be a hot topic – not because of a trade that was made, rather because of the team sending another top star elsewhere. In the long run – and it might not be as long as we once thought, the Marlins are moving forward regardless of what has happened this offseason.