Nationals Trade Rumors: J.T. Realmuto Price 'Too High' Despite Extensive Talks

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJuly 30, 2018

Miami Marlins' J.T. Realmuto bats during a baseball game against the New York Mets, Saturday, June 30, 2018, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

The Washington Nationals reportedly have their eyes on Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, but the price is particularly high prior to Tuesday’s non-waiver trade deadline.

According to Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post, Washington and Miami "have talked extensively" regarding a trade involving the catcher, but the "price remains too high" for the Nationals. Janes noted Washington may sell some players before the deadline but it wouldn't signal a "wholesale teardown."

Realmuto has been in Nationals-related headlines of late after he won Saturday's contest against Miami's division rival with a walk-off single. Washington All-Star Bryce Harper said of the hit, "if that guy was on our side, that wouldn't have happened," per Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post.

It is hard to argue with Harper's assertion Washington would be better with Realmuto on its side considering the first-time All-Star is slashing .311/.361/.531 with 13 home runs and 51 RBI on the campaign. This is his fourth straight season with double-digit long balls after he drilled a career-best 17 last year.

Realmuto also brings an element of team control seeing how he is not set to be an unrestricted free agent until 2021, per Spotrac.

Adding someone like that would give Washington a much-needed boost heading into the stretch run. Despite high expectations following two straight division titles, the Nationals are six games behind the Philadelphia Phillies and 4.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves in the National League East in what has been a disastrous season under first-year manager Dave Martinez.

"The clubhouse is a mess," a source said of Washington's situation, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

Even with clubhouse issues, the Nationals are well within striking distance of the playoffs at this point of the season, and adding Realmuto would be an ideal place to start a bounce-back effort given his track record and the offense he brings behind the plate. The issue for now, though, is the price.