Jon Heyman of FRS Baseball writes about his top 20 trade candidates that could be traded this season and attempts to find the bets match for each player.
The second ranked player on is list is Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto and he says the New York Mets are the best bet to acquire him while listing the Milwaukee Brewers and Philadelphia Phillies as other teams likely interested.
Despite Heyman listing the Mets as the best bet he states, “many insiders – including some with the Mets – doubt they have enough to make a deal. And now, with Miami playing better than expected so far and the Marlins a continuing target for criticism following their extreme fire sale, who knows if he gets traded at all?”
The Mets picked up catcher Devin Mesoraco from the Reds this week in exchange for Matt Harvey. The former All-Star has struggled since 2014, playing in only 115 games over three plus seasons and hitting just .191/.287/.312 in that time. He’s also graded out negatively defensively in each of those years according to Baseball Prospectus.
Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki has begun his hitting progression and is likely to start catching bullpen sessions soon. He was hitting .150/.393/.200 before suffering a hairline fracture in his left hand.
The Mets also have veteran Jose Lobaton on the major league roster right now. He has hit .165/.265/.256 in 17 games for the Mets this season.
As you can see, even with the healthy return of Plawecki, the Mets are likely still going to need an upgrade at the catching position if they want to be contenders through the summer.
Realmuto, 27 and under control trhough the 2020 season, is currently hitting .306/.383/.500 with two doubles, four home runs and eight RBI for the Marlins. He missed the start of the season with a back issue but has shown no ill-effects of that since returning.
The right-handed hitter has 1.0 WAR already in 19 games and is coming off a career-best 3.6 WAR season in 2017. Baseball Prospectus currently has Realmuto ranked 40th of 75 defensively, though he’s coming off a 2017 season in which he ranked 10th out of 110.
Realmuto is not going to come cheap given he’s only making $2.9 million this season and is arbitration eligible the next two seasons. He’s also been one of top tier catcher in baseball over the past three plus seasons at a position that is weak across the board right now.
The cost for Realmuto, likely a couple of top prospects, could be prohibitive for the Mets given their bottom tier farm system and the fact that a few contenders (Red Sox, Brewers) have seen below average production from the catching position this season.
Heyman also list the Mets as a team that could make sense for Rays starter Chris Archer, Royals reliever Danny Duffy, Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas, White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu, Orioles outfielder Adam Jones, A’s catcher Jonathan Lucroy and Rays catcher Wilson Ramos.