JT Realmuto: Will he be traded?

Josh Calloni, Reporter

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Marlins highly regarded catcher JT Realmuto has been the subject of rumors for a trade  all offseason, and now with Yasmani Grandal off the free agent market, teams may be more motivated to make a move.

Realmuto is regarded by many as the best catcher in baseball is not overstated. He is young, plays very good defense, only making 5 errors in 2018 and throwing out 38 percent of the runners who tried to run on him. Realmuto also runs very well, which is rare for a catcher. he is a good hitter, which is also quite rare for a catcher. Realmuto hit .277 with 21 home runs in 2018, he also slugged his way to an .825 OPS plus.

So, why would Miami try to move him? This is because the Marlins are in year two of what looks to be a lengthy rebuild. Realmuto is their most desired player, and could net them a big return to help their future.

“I do not think Realmuto is going anywhere. The Marlins are really asking way too much. There is no way any team would give up a star young player for two years of a star catcher. If Realmuto was under more control, sure, but two years is not really that much,” sophomore Jacob Brewer said.

The Marlins are said to be seeking a highly talented zero to three year player to start off the deal, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. This means a top player has anywhere from zero to three years of service time, and can be seen as a controllable piece moving forward for Miami. This includes names like Ozzie Albies, Cody Bellinger and Kyle Tucker, all of whom Miami has interest in.

However, Miami will not stop there. They also want a top pitching prospect, like Houston’s Forrest Whitley. From there, they said to have interest in lower level prospects to round out the deal. It is a lot to ask for in a return for Realmuto, as he only has two years of control before he reaches free agency.

“I think Realmuto would be a good fit for the Dodgers. They need a catcher to bridge the gap to Keibert Ruiz, and he would be perfect. He would not be too hard to get because of all the depth the Dodgers have,” junior Tommy Flores said.

To see a trade of Realmuto, there have to be two major factors: The Marlins will need to come down from their asking price just a little, and another team has to realize what exactly they are getting in Realmuto. Now that Grandal is off the market, many feel the best free agent catcher is Martin Maldonado or Matt Wieters, major declines from Realmuto. The Dodgers, Astros and Braves remain the most interested in Realmuto and the most engaged in talks with the Marlins.

With the Marlins extreme asking price on the highly touted catcher, it seems very unlikely that a deal gets done, however, if a team really gets desperate for a game changing catcher, Realmuto would be the first place to look.