Sunday’s game could be the final home contest of Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto’s tenure with the team, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald observes. Spencer’s the latest to note that the Fish will likely trade Realmuto in the offseason if they’re unable to extend him, as they’re rebuilding and he’s only under control through 2020. Asked about the potential of Sunday being his last Marlins home game, the 27-year-old Realmuto said: “You never know what’s going to happen, so I don’t try to think too much about that. We’ll see if that ends up being the case.” Thanks to both the state of the Miami franchise and Realmuto’s standing as an elite catcher, he has frequented trade rumors dating back to last season. Barring an extension, Realmuto will once again be popular on MLBTR’s pages during the winter, especially considering he has been the majors’ best catcher and the Marlins’ main bright spot this year. Not only has Realmuto slashed a stellar .284/.348/.498 with 21 home runs in 516 plate appearances, but he has also offered tremendous defense.
More on a couple other MLB teams:
- As part of an outfield that features Bryce Harper, Juan Soto and Adam Eaton, Michael A. Taylor has seen his playing time diminish, Elliott Smith of MLB.com points out. Taylor has only started four times since Aug. 24 and taken a mere seven PAs this month, per Smith. One reason Taylor has been on the bench lately is his lack of production, as the 27-year-old has followed up a strong 2017 by hitting a meager .224/.286/.355 with six home runs in 376 PAs. But Taylor’s “working with [hitting coach] Kevin [Long] to change his swing a little bit and hopefully he comes into Spring Training with a different swing — putting the ball in play a little bit more,” according to manager Dave Martinez. Putting the ball in play has been a struggle for Taylor, who has logged unappealing strikeout and contact rates of 29.8 percent and 71.1 percent, respectively. Taylor’s an asset on the bases and in the field, though, and he also comes with two more years of arbitration control. He could be an offseason trade chip for the Nationals, then, Smith writes. Taylor has considered the possibility, saying: “It’s hard this late in the season not to think about it, and with the way things have been going lately, it looks like other people are thinking about it.” Regardless, Taylor’s focused on “continuing to work and get better every day.” His situation will be an interesting one to monitor over the winter, given that the Nationals will have at least three other high-profile outfield options (Soto, Eaton and Victor Robles) even if they don’t re-sign Harper.
- With the Rangers searching for a new manager, Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram goes through potential replacements for the fired Jeff Banister. One thing’s clear, Wilson writes: Rangers great Michael Young won’t get the job, even though he’d be president/general manager Jon Daniels’ “dream hire.” The soon-to-be 42-year-old Young is content in his current role as a special assistant to Daniels, Wilson suggests.
- Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre reacted to Banister’s ouster Friday, saying (via T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com) the dugout shakeup won’t play a role in whether he’ll continue his career in 2019. And Beltre, a pending free agent who will turn 40 next April, seems prepared to go through another lean year with Texas. The Rangers’ non-contender status isn’t “ideal,” Beltre admitted, but he noted: “I’m here for whatever they want me to do, that’s the bottom line. I think I’m old enough to understand everything that’s going on, and I’m old enough to understand that over the last couple of years, the clubhouse is getting younger and younger, and there’s been a different situation where – yes, we’re probably not going to be competing with the Astros and those guys, we’re going to be developing players.” Beltre’s words jibe with his actions from this past summer’s trade deadline, when he elected against pushing for a trade to a better team. Assuming he re-signs with the Rangers in 2019, the future Hall of Famer will play his ninth season with the club.