JT Realmuto Trade Rumors: Dodgers, Astros, Braves Among 6 Contenders for Catcher

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 10, 2019

Miami Marlins' J.T. Realmuto follows through on two-run base hit in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018 in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

There are reportedly six teams in talks to acquire catcher J.T. Realmuto from the Miami Marlins. 

According to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros, Atlanta Braves, Tampa Bay Rays, San Diego Padres and Cincinnati Reds are considered the "front-runners" to trade for Realmuto.

Since Realmuto is arbitration eligible and won't become a free agent until 2021, the Marlins haven't ruled out keeping him for the 2019 season, per Frisaro.

The 27-year-old backstop has been the subject of trade rumors since last offseason when Miami traded many of its best players, including outfielders Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna, as well as second baseman Dee Gordon.

Realmuto was named an All-Star for the first time last season when he hit .277 with 21 home runs and 74 RBI.

He was the Marlins' leader in both homers and RBI, and he was third on the team in hits, runs scored and doubles.

Realmuto also won the National League Silver Slugger award for the catcher position.

All of the teams rumored to be in pursuit of Realmuto have a hole at catcher that the five-year veteran would fill perfectly.

The Dodgers have a major need behind the plate after Yasmani Grandal reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan.

Houston signed Robinson Chirinos this offseason after declining its option on veteran Brian McCann, but Chirinos has the makings of a stopgap rather than a long-term answer.

While the Braves signed McCann, they can stand to upgrade over platoon catcher Tyler Flowers after losing Kurt Suzuki to the Washington Nationals.

The Rays acquired the inconsistent Mike Zunino this offseason, but he hit just .201 last season, and Realmuto would undoubtedly be a better replacement for Wilson Ramos, who was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies last season and subsequently signed with the New York Mets.

While the Dodgers, Astros and Braves were all playoff teams last season and the Rays were in playoff contention, the Padres and Reds are both rebuilding teams who are trying to get back in the mix.

Realmuto would supplant Austin Hedges behind the plate in San Diego and combine with first baseman Eric Hosmer to form a solid middle of the lineup.

The Reds have a solid defensive catcher in Tucker Barnhart, but he leaves something to be desired offensively, and Realmuto would join an already strong lineup that includes Joey Votto, Eugenio Suarez, Scooter Gennett and Yasiel Puig.

With the Marlins still seemingly years away from contention, trading Realmuto now while several teams are after him would likely yield them the best possible package of prospects to continue building their system.

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