As many MLB teams wind down for the end of the year, the San Diego Padres appear to be busy this holiday season trying to upgrade their roster.
According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the Padres are reportedly in ongoing talks with the Miami Marlins to try and potentially land star catcher J.T. Realmuto.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 27, 2018
Realmuto was one of the most-coveted players available at MLB’s Winter Meetings with at least 14 teams interested in him. While the field has narrowed since with some acquisitions, the Padres join the New York Yankees, Cincinnati Reds and Houston Astros as clubs linked to Realmuto.
The 27-year-old backstop is regarded as perhaps the best catcher in baseball and is coming off a 2018 season in which he posted a .277/.340/.484 slash line with 21 home runs. He is arbitration-eligible for the next two seasons before he will become a free agent in 2021.
According to the report, San Diego would then explore moving catcher Austin Hedges in a deal to strengthen its rotation. The 26-year-old struggled at the plate last season with a .231/.282/.429, however, he draws extremely high marks as one of the best defensive catchers.
Morosi also reported that the Padres are engaged in discussions for Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber. According to the report, Hedges could be one of the young pieces that could be included in a deal for Cleveland’s ace.