J.T. Realmuto is making an immediate impact in Philadelphia.
The catcher, acquired during the offseason from the Miami Marlins, hit his first home run as a Phillie on Saturday, a two-run shot against the Atlanta Braves to break a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the fifth inning.
434 feet later, the Phillies are back in front!
Realmuto crushes one to give the Phillies a 6-4 lead! pic.twitter.com/7IoDPHqq97
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) March 30, 2019
If it looked like Realmuto absolutely crushed that 434-foot home run, you would be correct. According to Statcast, it was the hardest ball he’s hit since tracking began in 2015.
J.T. Realmuto's homer had 112.8 mph exit velo, his hardest-hit batted ball since @statcast began tracking in 2015.
— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) March 30, 2019
No wonder the Phillies were so aggressive in trying to nab Realmuto from the Marlins. Bryce Harper will get the headlines, but Realmuto is also going to be a hugely important addition to this Philadelphia club.
- JT Realmuto
The Miami Marlins are maintaining a very high asking price for catcher J.T. Realmuto.
According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Marlins are insisting that top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez be in any potential Realmuto deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. Miami is open to trading Realmuto, preferably before the start of spring training, with the Cincinnati Reds also prominently interested.
Sanchez, widely considered one of the top 30 prospects in baseball and ranked as high as No. 13 by Baseball America, posted a 2.51 ERA in eight starts at High-A Clearwater last season.
The chances seem real that Realmuto will be traded quite soon, but this is a pretty clear indication that they’re not compromising on their asking price. Along with the Phillies and Reds, a third team has been aggressive in trying to get involved in trade talks with the Marlins.
The San Diego Padres have suddenly been linked to the top names on both the free agent and trade markets, and there is reason to believe they are doing more than just window shopping.
Jon Morosi of MLB.com was told by a rival executive this week that Padres general manager A.J. Preller is “trying earnestly” to sign one of Bryce Harper or Manny Machado in addition to trading for Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto. Morosi notes that the idea is not all that unrealistic, as the Padres could add a $30 million salary and still be somewhere in the middle of the league in payroll. They also have a very deep farm system and could potentially make the Marlins a solid offer.
In addition to the aforementioned big names, the Padres have also reportedly shown interest in free agent right-hander Gio Gonzalez, who is 33 and coming off a down year. Gonzalez, a two-time All-Star, posted a 10-11 record and 4.21 ERA in 2018, but he went 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA in five starts after the Washington Nationals traded him to the Milwaukee Brewers. He could end up being a bargain.
All indications are that the Padres are serious about making a big splash, so it’s just a matter of whether or not star players want to play in San Diego. If they’re willing to offer top dollar in what has been another quiet free agent market, they may have a leg up on other teams.
One of the big questions all off season has been about where JT Realmuto will end up. The Los Angeles Dodgers have seemed like a contender to trade for him, but one report says another NL West team is more central in those talks.
MLB Network’s Jon Morosi said on Wednesday that the San Diego Padres are more of a factor in Realmuto trade talks than the Dodgers.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 31, 2019
The market for players has gotten so cold that San Diego has now been connected to Manny Machado (with some concerns) and Realmuto.
The Padres have been in rebuilding mode ever since their aggressive plan in 2015 fell flat. Now they have some serious prospects in the pipeline close to being ready, and they think they will be a contender in the coming years. It’s on them to decide when and how they will begin cashing in their chips.
- JT Realmuto
The Miami Marlins appear to be moving closer to trading catcher J.T. Realmuto, but it remains unclear where he’ll wind up.
According to Craig Mish of SiriusXM, the San Diego Padres are the latest team to make a run at Realmuto, with three other teams remaining heavily involved in trade discussions.
Update : Padres making a late charge for Realmuto. Braves & Marlins staring each other down hoping the other blinks. LA & CIN remain very in. The final chapter of the saga is upon us.
— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) January 28, 2019
Realmuto remains one of the bigger storylines that has yet to be resolved this offseason. The Padres’ interest isn’t new, but we’ve heard that they want the opportunity to negotiate an extension with the catcher before agreeing to any trade, and it’s not clear if the Marlins are willing to accommodate such a request.
A long-awaited J.T. Realmuto trade may finally be nearing fruition, but there are definitely some issues to iron out.
According to Jon Morosi of MLB.com, the San Diego Padres, who are pursuing a Realmuto deal, are insisting on a window to negotiate a contract extension as a requirement before completing any trade.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 26, 2019
Realmuto has two years of arbitration remaining and would become a free agent after the 2020 season. The Padres are apparently serious about ensuring it doesn’t get to that point if they acquire him.
According to Jon Heyman of Fancred, talks are said to be “gaining momentum,” with the Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers viewed as the frontrunners.
Realmuto talks are said to be gaining momentum, with the Dodgers and Padres believed most prominent in discussions at moment. LA has the need and the young players to trade (Verdugo, etc.) and is logical. Reds, Braves, Astros among others with interest.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 25, 2019
The Padres have been lingering on the fringes of Realmuto talks for a while, but appear to have really stepped up their interest in recent days. It sounds like this trade saga could soon be resolved.
The Miami Marlins continue to field inquiries regarding possible trades for JT Realmuto, and the San Diego Padres are among the teams who are actively pursuing the star catcher.
According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the Padres and Marlins have been engaged in trade talks surrounding Realmuto. If they are able to work out a deal, San Diego could then look to move catcher Austin Hedges to acquire some pitching.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 27, 2018
That meshes with a report from earlier in the week that indicated the Padres have had discussions with the Cleveland Indians about two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber, so San Diego could be trying to position itself to make multiple big moves.
Realmuto has drawn a ton of interest this offseason, but it sounds like the Marlins have probably been asking for a bit too much in return. The 27-year-old catcher hit .277 with 21 home runs and 74 RBI last season. He’s a career .279 hitter and set a personal high with a .824 OPS in 2018.