Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto makes too much sense as a trade candidate. He's hitting his arbitration years and will get more expensive for the Marlins. He hits free agency after the 2021 season and it's hard to see Miami being a contender before then. The catcher crop in free agency isn't impressive. Realmuto is damn impressive, though.
Surely, the Marlins could get back a pretty nice haul for Realmuto. After all, he hit .277/.340/.484 (131 OPS+) with 30 doubles and 21 homers in 125 games last season. He's also well above average in catching opposing runners stealing (38 percent versus a league average of 28 percent).
Let's get the rumor mill churning with a guy who is pretty well dialed in when it comes to the Marlins:
Sources indicate the Braves have a strong offer on the table for Marlins All Star Catcher J.T. Realmuto. MIA may prefer him dealt outside of NL East, but at this point team is operating as though a trade is likely to happen.— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) November 7, 2018
Now, from a guy pretty well dialed in when it comes to the Braves.
We know thatabout how much his client prefers to be traded this offseason. With that in mind, let's also realize that sometimes rumors are out there for a reason: Someone wants it out there. It could be the agent feeding information. It could be a team. For example, what if someone in the Marlins front office floats to a reporter that they are getting tons of interest in Realmuto and then a team that wants Realmuto badly sees the report? The goal of such a move would be to drive up the price.
For what it's worth, Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said that there has not been a change in Realmuto's status so far this offseason.
"There's really no change there," Hill said on a Marlins radio show this week. "It's definitely up to J.T., if he chooses to accept an extension. But we know that he's under control for the next two years, and we'd be extremely happy to have him as part of what we're building."
Whatever is going on here, Realmuto will be a hot name this offseason in the rumor mill until he's dealt or the Marlins definitively say he's not going anywhere.