For the second straight offseason, Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto has been a hot topic of trade discussion. The New York Mets have a need at catcher and have already shown interest in free agent catchers such as Yasmani Grandal, Wilson Ramos and Martin Maldonado.
Though the Mets farm system improved in 2018, source familiar with the Marlins’ thinking told Tim Healey of Newsday that the Mets still don’t have a deep enough prospect pool to lure Miami into sending the All-Star catcher to Flushing.
Realmuto, 27, was the best catcher in baseball this past season posting a league best 4.3 bWAR and 4.8 fWAR. He hit .277/.340/.484 with 30 doubles, 21 homers and 74 RBI in 125 games. Defensively, he threw out 38% of basestealers though his framing slipped considerably which dropped him to ranking 54th overall among 117 catchers according to Baseball Prospectus. He was the 13th ranked defensive catcher in 2017.
The right-handed hitter is arbitration eligible this offseason and under team control through the 2020 season.
The Mets currently have Kevin Plawecki, Tomas Nido and the oft-injured Travis d’Arnaud for catchers on the 40-man roster. Plawecki is likely best served as a back-up, Nido hasn’t shown enough offense to warrant a big league spot and d’Arnuad is a non-tender candidate.
As for the Mets prospect pool, I would disagree with the assessment that they don’t have enough young talent to get Realmuto. Top prospects Andres Gimenez and Peter Alonso are two players that would likely entice Miami, though it remains to be seen if the Mets are open to trading them.
The question becomes do the Mets want to trade some of the high-end young talent for Realmuto when they there are solid free agent catching options in Ramos and Grandal. Also have to factor in that the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves have shown serious interest in Realmuto.