We’re a week away from the Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline, and talk is heating up around the league. Some trade chips appear more likely to move than others, but teams are constantly looking for upgrades, some more than others.
Here are ten players who could be in high demand this week, and potentially on the move.
10) Tyson Ross, Padres
In a market full of teams who need starting pitching, Ross may not be the best option available, but he can eat innings and do so competently. After two injury-hit seasons, he’s managed to stay healthy and has eaten up 113 innings. His 4.29 ERA isn’t the best, but he’s more than capable of helping the back end of a contender’s rotation.
J.T. Realmuto has drawn plenty of interest heading into the trade deadline with the Miami Marlins nowhere near playoff contention, but the team apparently has limits to the fire sale it began over the winter.
Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports reports that teams have been given the impression that the Marlins have no intention of trading Realmuto. In fact, they may want to extend the star catcher and build around him this offseason.
no one's untouchable with the marlins, but teams that have called recently have the impression jt realmuto is going nowhere. there's no extension talk for him yet, but marlins seem to have hope he'd talk about it in winter. understandably, they see him as a piece to build around.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 23, 2018
Realmuto has been one of the few bright spots for the 43-58 Marlins. The 27-year-old is hitting .307 with 12 home runs, 45 RBI and an OPS of .886. He’s on pace to set career highs in almost every major category, which makes him a valuable piece at a position that teams typically do not get much offense from.
It’s no secret that the Marlins want a big return for Realmuto, and at least one team may be willing to part with its top prospect to acquire him. Based what Realmuto reportedly thought about Miami’s approach over the offseason, it’s probably safe to assume he would welcome a trade.
The Washington Nationals are feeling a bit of urgency as their struggles continue, and it could push them to make a bigger deal than they perhaps anticipated.
According to Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports, the Nationals could “revisit” a trade pursuit of Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto as they seek to upgrade the position. Some executives even believe the Nationals would consider offering top prospect Victor Robles toland Realmuto from the Marlins.
Nationals catchers have hit just .186 with five home runs on the season so far. Realmuto, on the other hand, is hitting .310 with 12 home runs, and has been named to the NL All-Star team.
The Nationals have been linked with Realmuto since the offseason, but Miami has had a very high asking price that the Nationals have been unwilling to meet. Now 48-48 and in need of a spark, that may be enough to get them to change their minds.
For most teams, we’re a quarter of the way through the Major League Baseball season, and right about at the point that teams can begin assessing what their prospects are. It’s also a point where we can review performances to date and look at who’s struggling and who’s starring for each team. Here, we’re going to be focusing on the players who have led their teams, no matter how the club is doing in the grand scheme of things.
Here is the best player for each MLB team so far in 2018.
Arizona Diamondbacks — A.J. Pollock, OF
A couple of pitchers have a case here, but in a year where the Arizona offense has been surprisingly underwhelming, Pollock has carried them. The outfielder is hitting .293 with 11 home runs and 10 doubles, easily pacing the team in OPS. Unfortunately he is expected to miss 4-8 weeks with a thumb injury, because he was working on a potential MVP season before that.
- A.J. Pollock, Aaron Judge, Aaron Nola, Blake Snell, Brandon Belt, Carlos Martinez, Eddie Rosario, Eric Hosmer, Francisco Cervelli, Francisco Lindor, Jacob deGrom, Jorge Soler, JT Realmuto, Justin Verlander, Kevin Pillar, Kris Bryant, Lorenzo Cain, Manny Machado, Max Scherzer, Mitch Haniger, Mookie Betts, Nick Castellanos, Nolan Arenado, Nomar Mazara, Ozzie Albies, Raisel Iglesias, Reynaldo Lopez, Sean Manaea, Shohei Ohtani, Yasmani Grandal
The New York Mets are dealing with an injury-induced catcher crisis, and could be forced into making a big trade to fix it.
Regular starter Travis d’Arnaud needs Tommy John surgery, while his backup, Kevin Plawecki, just landed on the disabled list with a broken hand. That has left the Mets in a very difficult spot.
According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, the Mets have reached out to the Miami Marlins regarding the availability of their catcher J.T. Realmuto.
The Mets have spoken to the Marlins about J.T. Realmuto. It would take a haul to land him, plus Realmuto has not played yet this season because of a back contusion. That said, the Marlins are rebuilding so maybe there is common ground that can be found.
— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) April 13, 2018
As Puma alludes to, this would not be a minor deal. Realmuto is a career .280 hitter with enough power to hit 15 to 20 home runs. He reportedly told the Marlins he wanted out during their offseason firesale, but nothing obviously came of it — likely because it will take a major prospect package to pry him away from Miami.
The Miami Marlins have gotten rid of nearly all of their top players, but one remains: JT Realmuto. Since the Marlins have cleaned house this offseason, it makes sense that teams have been asking about Realmuto. According to one report, the Houston Astros are among the teams to inquire about Realmuto.
SiriusXM MLB Network Radio’s Craig Mish reported on Saturday that the Astros have engaged the Marlins about Realmuto. He says the Marlins have asked for Houston prospect Kyle Tucker in return.
Source : Houston Astros have engaged in trade discussions for JT Realmuto. OF Kyle Tucker is the ask by Miami. Astros are considering. 50% chance Realmuto is dealt before opening day.
— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) February 10, 2018
FWIW on the Marlins side to be fair, team spokesman says Astros Information on my report is inaccurate. Respectfully disagree, but should be presented as their response.
— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) February 10, 2018
Realmuto, who is turning 27, is under team control through 2020, which makes him a valuable commodity. He batted .278 with 17 home runs last season, good for a career-best .783 OPS. The catcher reportedly requested a trade from the Marlins back in December.
- JT Realmuto
The Miami Marlins’ offseason of selling still may not be done.
According to Jon Morosi of MLB.com, the Marlins and the Washington Nationals continue to discuss a possible trade involving catcher J.T. Realmuto. The Nationals, however, are said to be reluctant to part with their top prospects.
Sources: #Marlins, #Nationals remain in touch but have not made progress on a J.T. Realmuto trade. Thus far, Miami has asked for deal to include Victor Robles or Juan Soto; Nats have said no. (@JonHeyman first reported Robles as part of ask.) @MLB @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) February 5, 2018
Realmuto has reportedly been disillusioned with the direction of the Marlins over the offseason and has requested a trade. They are, understandably, asking a high price for a 26-year-old catcher who hit .278 a year ago. We’ll see if anyone pays up — or if the Marlins compromise a bit.