Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto told reporters today that he’s had multiple conversations with president of baseball operations Michael Hill and manager Don Mattingly about whether or not he’ll be traded, but he hasn’t gotten a firm answer one way or the other (hat tip to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald). He also said that he has not spoken with part-owner Derek Jeter directly about the subject. That Realmuto hasn’t gotten a firm answer is entirely unsurprising; he’s a valuable trade asset, and the team can’t guarantee that anyone will rise to meet their asking price. They’ve been fielding offers on him for quite some time, and the countdown to opening day has now dwindled to under two months. Realmuto, of course, has been vocal throughout the offseason in his desire to be traded to another club. It was reported that the backstop requested a trade out Miami as early as mid-December, at which point the Fish had already shipped out Giancarlo Stanton, Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna. Recent comments from his agent indicate that his stance hasn’t changed, and an arbitration defeat at Miami’s hands certainly won’t do anything to budge that stance.
A few other items out of Miami…
- Hill says that lefty Wei-Yin Chen has been cleared to throw, and projects to be in the Marlins’ rotation (h/t Joe Frisaro of MLB.com). Whether or not he’ll be ready for the start of the season is uncertain. The 32-year-old Chen missed the bulk of last season due to recurring elbow issues, and is owed $60MM through the 2020 season. If he can remain healthy, he’ll likely slot in as the number two starter behind Dan Straily.
- Hill also mentioned that Brad Ziegler is the team’s closer headed into spring training camp. Ziegler took over as the team’s closer last season following a trade of A.J. Ramos to the Mets, saving ten games for the club. His overall performance, however, left much to be desired; the soft-tosser’s 4.79 ERA isn’t indicative of a high-leverage reliever, and his 4.98 K/9 was the fourth-lowest among MLB relievers with at least 30 innings pitched. However, having Ziegler in a ninth-inning role will prevent young strikeout artists Kyle Barraclough and Drew Steckenrider from accruing saves that would otherwise boost their future arbitration raises.
- Mattingly has Derek Dietrich “penciled in” as the starting left fielder (h/t Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald). The rest of the outfield picture, however, is “wide open.” The Marlins, of course, traded their entire starting outfield from last season; Stanton, Ozuna and Christian Yelich will all suit up for other clubs, leaving the team with a significant void to fill. Count recent outfield acquisitions Lewis Brinson and Magneuris Sierra among the players who will compete for those jobs in camp.
- Despite trade speculation earlier in the offseason, infielder Starlin Castro says he expects to be with the club come opening day (hat tip again to Jackson). The former Yankee adds that he is “happy to be here,” and is not looking to be traded now. Castro figures to open the season as the team’s second baseman. He put up a .300/.338/.454 slash line while playing for New York last season (good for a 110 wRC+), and chipped in a pair of stolen bases.
Good for Castro, staying positive, focusing on being a Marlin and putting in at least a good first half. Could always be flipped at the deadline or traded next off season. Maybe hes young enough to ride out the rebuild?
Knowing Castro’s luck, he’ll ride out the rebuild, only to be traded to another rebuilding team right when they put it all together
It’s not the Yankees fault that they were able to add the NL MVP for cheap
It happened to him w the Cubs as well
I’m not blaming the Yankees for anything. I’m simply pointing out that Castro has been extremely unlucky with when and where he’s been traded both times.
Castro is a cancer
Marlins would be wise to give Garrett Cooper a look in LF. He played there at times while a Brewer farmhand, and all he did was hit last year even in brief stint with Yankees.
Cooper will be a nice player for them. I can see them trading Bour and giving 1B to Coop
Yea I like Castro during his time with the yanks. He was a positive veteran in the clubhouse.
He also said that he has not spoken with part-owner Derek Jeter directly about the subject.
Missing out on a gift basket there fella.
I actually laughed out loud.
Truthfully, I’m a bit surprised The Marlins aren’t somewhat interested in cheap, one year deals for some of the veteran players, like Carlos Goznalez, Jhonny Peralta, Yunel Escobar, and Trevor Plouffe. If the players succeed, The Marlins can flip them at the deadline for some minor leaguers to teams in contention. If they fail, it won’t hurt their budget to release them.
According to Cots they currently have a projected 78 million dollar payroll with another 9 expected to go to arb players. It’s possible they have a firm line they want to stay at and are waiting to see the final results of the arb cases.
It takes two to tango. Maybe they are interested, but the players aren’t? I mean, how many FAs want to go to the Marlins, knowing either they play out the year with a terrible team, or lose control of where they go if they’re flipped?
Players have to actually want to go somewhere to sign there, generally.
Sometimes it takes one to tango. At that point, you are playing with yourself
Starlin is a really bad liar.
I wonder if the fact Chen had Tommy John Surgery before, influenced Marlins’ decision for rest/rehab over TJ surgery, just like Ervin Santana and Masohiro Tanaka did before.
Just read Darvish to Cubs 6/150.
Well at least Ziegler gave them a glimpse of a decent closer last August, so I’m not too surprised.
Dietrich and Coop should be a solid tandem in LF. I also like Braxton Lee as the fourth outfielder but I think miami would be wise to sign a guy like CarGo or Bautista to play right field so Sierra or Brinson can start the year in the minors. Need to save those guys’ service time for when the marlins are actually ready to win.
I said this before on a previous post and it probably won’t happen, but Castro makes a lot of sense for the Pirates. Can play second and short and possibly third so there’s position flexibility, good bat, positive attitude. He’d allow Harrison, barring a trade, to play third and let Moran season a bit, and when they move on from Mercer he can slide in at short until the kids are ready.
That Realmuto for Kyle Tucker rumor that’s floating around though…
Jeter just dismantle the whole MLB roster, and sign one year deals to mediocre players then after 5 yrs of 1st rd draft pics you will can get into the wild card kinda like how the nationals did it.
The only problem is that Jeter has no experience as an executive, and Michael Hill is no Jeff Lunhow, Mike Rizzo, or Theo Epstein.
Since taking A-Gone in 2000, Jose Fernandez and Christian Yelich are the only succesful first round draft picks (none of the others have accumulated a career WAR over 3).
Their highest draft picks since Gonzalez have pretty much been massive failures. Kyle Skipworth (#6, 2009), Colin Moran (#6, 2013), Andrew Heaney (#9, 2012), and Matt Dominguez (#12, 2007) all have essentially done nothing. And Tyler Kolek (#2, 2014) and Josh Naylor (#12, 2015) don’t look like they’ll ever be impact major league players.
Add in the fact that they’ve always been one of the least active international spenders, and that the new management has been even more stingy than the previous, I don’t think there’s much optimism about Miami handling this rebuild like Houston, Chicago, or Washington did.
He cannot play SS.