The Marlins are reportedly diving headfirst into trade talks as they look to move All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto, who has drawn a line in the sand this offseason, with his agent publicly stating that he won’t sign an extension with the team. Per MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro, the Marlins have now touched base with 8-10 teams on a potential Realmuto trade, and according to SiriusXM’s Craig Mish, the Braves already have a “strong offer on the table” for the 27-year-old catcher:
Am hearing 8-10 teams have touched base with #Marlins regarding J.T. Realmuto.— Joe Frisaro (@JoeFrisaro) November 7, 2018
Sources indicate the Braves have a strong offer on the table for Marlins All Star Catcher J.T. Realmuto. MIA may prefer him dealt outside of NL East, but at this point team is operating as though a trade is likely to happen.— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) November 7, 2018
It remains important to note that I believe the Marlins preference is to deal Realmuto outside of the NL East for obvious reasons. Keep this in mind as the potential trade talks progress with other teams.— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) November 7, 2018
For what it’s worth, Fancred’s Jon Heyman totally contradicted Mish’s report, saying that Atlanta has “yet to make any offer for Realmuto.”
Realmuto is arguably the best catcher under 30 in baseball, with the Royals’ Salvador Perez being the only other one that really comes close right now. He posted a .277/.340/.484 slash line with 21 homers over 531 plate appearances in 2018, and he’s widely regarded as a solid defender.
Catching depth is extremely sparse around the majors right now, and the teams that are theoretically attempting to compete and would have a need for Realmuto include the Yankees, Red Sox, Athletics, Astros, Angels, Mets, Nationals, Braves, Brewers, Rockies, and Dodgers. It’s certainly possible that another unexpected club could enter the fray — after all, who could have guessed at this time of year that the Brewers would end up getting Christian Yelich — but with three years of club control remaining, Realmuto is bound to command a fairly massive return, and the teams with the best farm systems would seem to be the ones that would be the overwhelming favorites to acquire him. A swap of Gary Sanchez and prospects for Realmuto between the Yankees and Marlins, as the New York Post’s Joel Sherman speculated about last week, would be particularly intriguing.