Despite the struggles of the Rockies’ catchers in 2018, it doesn’t appear they’ll be among the most ardent suitors for Marlins backstop J.T. Realmuto, Thomas Harding of MLB.com hears. It’s unclear, though, whether Colorado will make a less splashy attempt to upgrade over its current trio of Chris Iannetta, Tony Wolters and Tom Murphy, a woeful offensive group in 2018. Realmuto was the game’s premier catcher last season, on the other hand, but his refusal to sign an extension with the Marlins makes him a prime trade candidate. With two years of arbitration control remaining, Realmuto would bring back an impressive haul, but it doesn’t look as if it’ll come from Colorado.
- The Padres are rife with major league-caliber outfielders, meaning they’re going to “have to make some decisions and calls on” that area of their roster this offseason, general manager A.J. Preller said this week (via AJ Cassavell of MLB.com). Out of the Padres’ current group of outfielders, Cassavell classifies Wil Myers, Travis Jankowski, Hunter Renfroe and Franmil Reyes as trade candidates, adding that one of the latter two is likeliest to end up on the move. As right-handed sluggers with defensive limitations, Renfroe and Reyes offer similar skill sets, observes Cassavell, who notes that dealing one of the two would enable San Diego to move Myers from third base back to the outfield. The 27-year-old Myers, who owns the Padres’ second-richest contract (he’s guaranteed $64MM through 2023), saw his first real action at third base in 2018. Advanced metrics assigned Myers mixed reviews over a fairly small sample of appearances (36), as he accounted for one DRS and minus-5.4 UZR.
- The Rangers elected to decline catcher Robinson Chirinos’ option for 2019 because of both the salary they’d have owed him ($4.5MM) and his defensive woes, according to Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram. Chirinos was one of the majors’ worst defensive catchers in 2018, but it was still a surprise that Texas let him become a free agent. After all, the 34-year-old did offer solid offensive production for the fifth straight season, hitting .222/.338/.419 (103 wRC+) with 18 home runs in 426 plate appearances, and exercising his option hardly would’ve broken the bank. Further, the Rangers don’t seem to have a full-time replacement on hand, as they’re not of the belief either Jose Trevino or Isiah Kiner-Falefa is ready for No. 1 duties, per Wilson. Texas is in the market for a primary backstop as a result, and though there are several established veterans on the open market, Wilson suggests Chirinos’ successor could arrive via trade.
- Like their AL West rival in Arlington, the Mariners are seeking a starting catcher, having traded Mike Zunino to Tampa Bay on Thursday. With Zunino gone and the Mariners down to unproven 29-year-old David Freitas as their top option, Greg Johns of MLB.com runs down potential catcher acquisitions for the club. Considering the state of Seattle’s roster, GM Jerry Dipoto may attempt to trade for an experienced backstop who’s controllable for the next three to five years, writes Johns, who lists some potential targets in his piece.