One of the big storylines of the Winter Meetings was the pursuit of Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto. The latest All-Star to be put on the trade market by Miami once he started making a little money, Realmuto may be one of the 5 or so best offensive catchers in the game.
Understandably, interest has been high, and understandably, so are the Marlins’ demands.
The New York Mets have made it clear that they’re interested, but the Marlins have seemed reluctant to trade him inside the division. That’s allowed plenty of other teams, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, to enter the fray.
The field for J.T. Realmuto is essentially down to six teams: Reds, Mets, Rays, Braves, Dodgers and Padres. But with Winter Meetings wrapping up, no trade expected today. Stay tuned.— clarkspencer (@clarkspencer) December 13, 2018
But Jerry Crasnick says there’s one team with a catching need that some seem to think have been suspiciously quiet — the Milwaukee Brewers.
One MLB personnel man thinks the #Brewers could be a legit player for Realmuto. "I haven't read much about them, but I know they've inquired,'' he said. "They were interested at the trade deadline. I think they'll quietly creep into this.'' https://t.co/2NfxH6D66l— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) December 14, 2018
In case you needed a reminder, the Brewers’ trade for Christian Yelich developed in much the same way last winter — nobody was mentioning the Brewers in connection with Yelich up until just a couple hours before news of the trade broke. The Brewers tend to be brought up in a lot of these offseason rumors because they check in on everyone, but when it comes to the moves they actually end up making (you can include the Lorenzo Cain signing in this too), there’s nothing but silence.
So, in that regard, that executive’s gut feeling may be on to something. The Brewers have explored improving their catching, having met with Wilson Ramos at the Winter Meetings. With that said, the asking price may just be too high for the Brewers right now.
Realmuto would not come cheap, and would likely fall into the “Requires Trading Keston Hiura” category. The Mets tried organizing a deal centered around Michael Conforto or Brandon Nimmo, but Miami was insisting on 22-year-old shortstop Amed Rosario, who entered last season as a consensus Top-10 prospect in all of baseball.
Realmuto has two years of team control left, and is in his second winter of arbitration. He made his first All-Star team last year in his age-27 season, hitting .277/.340/.484 with 21 home runs and 30 doubles as one of the lone offensive threats in the Marlins lineup.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference