J.T. Realmuto Trade Rumors: Marlins Not Budging on Massive Asking PriceJanuary 3, 2019
The Miami Marlins reportedly haven't budged on their sky-high asking price for catcher J.T. Realmuto in trade talks ahead of the 2019 season.
On Thursday, Ken Rosenthal of MLB Network gave an update on the situation, noting the Marlins seek a young, impact bat in the mold of the Los Angeles Dodgers' Cody Bellinger or Atlanta Braves' Ozzie Albies along with prospects to move the 2018 All-Star Game selection:
Realmuto is coming off a terrific 2018 campaign where he posted a .277/.340/.484 triple-slash line with 21 home runs across 125 appearances. His homer total set a new career high as did his OPS (.824) and WAR (4.8, per FanGraphs).
They represent strong stats regardless of position, but playing catcher makes them more valuable since an extremely limited number of backstops provide those type of offensive contributions.
Although his name has been a constant presence in the rumor mill throughout the winter, Realmuto said in November while on the MLB All-Star tour in Japan he wasn't letting the situation become a distraction, per Jim Armstrong of the Associated Press.
"It's not a discussion for me to have, honestly," he said. "It's not my decision whether I get traded or not. It's up to the Marlins. Whatever they want to do with me, that's up to them. So for me, there is really no discussion to be had. My job is to show up and play baseball."
While the Dodgers and Braves have been mentioned as possible landing spots—Atlanta became less likely when it brought back Brian McCann to pair with Tyler Flowers—the MLB Network's Jon Morosi reported last week the Houston Astros are still involved, though they are also turned off by the high price tag.
Realmuto is under team control through 2020, so there's no real sense of urgency for Miami to move him this offseason. He's one of the rebuilding team's most valuable assets, so getting top dollar in return is essential to stocking up the farm system.
The front office could face more pressure to find a trade partner if he's still on the roster next winter without a long-term contract extension in place, though.