Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto has drawn a fair amount of interest this offseason. The Cincinnati Reds can be counted among the interested suitors.
Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports reported on Monday that the Reds were “very much” in the mix for Realmuto. He also noted that Miami is interested in Cincinnati’s top prospects, Hunter Greene, Nick Senzel, and Taylor Trammell.
Realmuto is, quite frankly, one of the best offensive catchers in baseball. If he’s traded, he’ll be a tremendous jolt for whichever team lands him. For his career, Realmuto is a .279/.327/.442 hitter. Since 2016, he’s hit .286/.338/.454. In 2018, he hit .277/.340/.484 with a career high 21 home runs.
As far as Miami’s potential return, the interest in those prospects makes sense. MLB.com ranks Senzel as baseball’s No. 6 overall prospect for 2019, Trammell at No. 16, and Green at No. 31. So, we also understand why Cincinnati wouldn’t want to deal them.
Realmuto is a natural trade target for any team looking to upgrade at catcher. The Marlins aren’t suited to contend in 2019. He’s also pretty clearly unhappy there and his agent has predicted that he’ll be traded by spring training.
With that understood, the Marlins don’t need to rush this. If he was a rental, then his potential return would diminish with every passing day, especially once the season begins. But Realmuto is signed through 2020. That limits the sense of urgency and gives Miami a chance to be sure it gets the right deal.
The Reds have high-end prospects. If they’re going to land Realmuto, we’re guessing that at least some of them will be headed Miami’s way in return.