The Marlins have put a very high price on J.T. Realmuto in trade talks, which isn’t surprising given Realmuto’s status as arguably the best catcher in baseball. Since Realmuto may never be as valuable as he is now, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney (subscription required) argues that Miami needs to swing a deal this winter rather than risk the chance that Realmuto is injured or has a downturn in production in 2019. Some rival teams feel that Realmuto will still be a Marlin on Opening Day since the team is simply asking for too much in return, possibly due to a feeling that they didn’t get enough back in last winter’s trades of Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna, and Giancarlo Stanton. Olney observes that the Nationals already made a quick pivot to another catcher in Kurt Suzuki, which could be a sign that other teams engaged in the Realmuto talks might also explore alternatives unless Miami lowers its demands.
More from around the baseball world as we wrap up Thanksgiving…
- With the trades of Mike Zunino and James Paxton, the Mariners have indicated that they plan to “step back” in 2019, as GM Jerry Dipoto told the Seattle Times’ Ryan Divish and other reporters. Divish explores what this strategy could mean for the rest of the Mariners’ offseason plans, particularly since Dipoto indicated the desire for a pretty quick turnaround, with the M’s theoretically ready to contend again as early as 2020. This means that longer-term pieces like Mitch Haniger, Edwin Diaz, and Marco Gonzales are less likely to be traded, as Dipoto “would have to be blown away to move players like that,” the GM said, though “we are going to stay open-minded to anything with a general ’never say never.’ “
- An alternative to this partial Mariners selloff is proposed by Buster Olney, who argues in another subscription-only piece that the M’s should go into a full-blown fire sale, a la the complete teardowns the Cubs and Astros underwent to rebuild their franchises into World Series winners. Under Olney’s plan, everyone on Seattle’s roster would be available — he suggests Haniger could be shopped to teams that miss out on Bryce Harper, while an elite closer like Diaz has limited value on a team that isn’t preparing to immediately contend.
- The Mariners and Padres discussed a trade scenario that would’ve seen Jean Segura and Mike Leake go to San Diego with Wil Myers coming back to Seattle, though Divish hears from sources that the negotiations took place over two weeks ago and don’t appear to be ongoing. From San Diego’s perspective, MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell looks at the pros and cons of trading Myers, who is the most experienced and productive (and expensive) member of the crowded Padres outfield.
- Former big leaguers Roger Bernadina and Pat Dean won’t be returning to the Korea Baseball Organization’s Kia Tigers next season, according to a Yonhap News report, as the Tigers are reportedly looking to get younger. Jeremy Hazelbaker and Jacob Turner were both recently signed by the Tigers to fill the international player roster slots formerly occupied by Bernadina and Dean. Last appearing in MLB in 2014, Bernadina has performed very well in two seasons in the KBO, so it would stand to reason that he would consider signing with another Korean team if he isn’t interested in exploring a return to North American baseball.