Marlins Reportedly 'Looking to Finish' JT Realmuto Trade; Mets 1 of 3 Options

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistDecember 11, 2018

MLB All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto of the Miami Marlins watches the flight of his three-run home-run off All Japan's pitcher Masaru Sato in the eighth inning of Game 2 of their All-Stars Series baseball at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Toru Takahashi)
Toru Takahashi/Associated Press

As the MLB winter meetings heat up in Las Vegas, Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto has been one of the hottest names on the market.

ESPN's Buster Olney tweeted Tuesday that Miami appears to be "looking to finish a deal," which is a different approach than the team has had in the past. Joe Frisaro of MLB.com noted the New York Mets are one of three teams currently in the mix, with the identities of the two other clubs unknown.

Mike Puma of the New York Post reported a three-way deal that would send Realmuto to the Mets and Noah Syndergaard to the New York Yankees has been discussed. Frisaro noted, though, that a three-team blockbuster is a "long shot."

Later on Tuesday, Jon Morosi of Fox Sports reported the three-team deal with the Yankees, Mets and Marlins was "not progressing," but the Mets remain interested in Realmuto.

Miami president of baseball operations Michael Hill revealed, per Frisaro, that there is "significant interest" in Realmuto at the winter meetings.

The 27-year-old Realmuto, who has two more years of club control, is viewed as one of the game's rising stars. He earned his first All-Star selection and first Silver Slugger in 2018 by hitting .277/.340/.484 with 21 home runs, 30 doubles and 74 RBI.

After the team traded away then-reigning NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton, All-Star outfielder Marcell Ozuna and All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon, Realmuto requested a trade in December 2017. But Miami held onto him for the 2018 campaign.

SiriusXM's Craig Mish reported last week that Miami previously offered Realmuto a pair of extensions, and while his camp did counter at one point, talks have since ended. According to Jon Heyman of Fancred, Realmuto is looking for "Buster Posey money," which would put a contract in the nine-year, $167 million range.

Per MLB Network's Jon Morosi, Realmuto's agent, Jeff Berry, made it clear earlier this offseason his client is not interested in a long-term deal with Miami: "I think he will definitely be wearing a different uniform by the start of spring training."

An agent talking like that could hurt a team's leverage in trade negotiations, but given the number of teams interested in Realmuto, the Marlins should still be able get a strong return for their star catcher.