With rumors flying about Marlins backstop J.T. Realmuto, it’s still hard to guess where he’ll land. Miami president of baseball operations Mike Hill says that’s a result of the robust demand for Realmuto, Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets. While the Fish are working to home in on a narrower slate of suitors, per Hill, it’s hard at this point to do so. The Rays are one of the teams to have “circle[d] back” on Realmuto, per Jon Heyman of Fancred (via Twitter), which lends credence to Hill’s statement. Though the Tampa Bay organization recently added Mike Zunino behind the dish, it seems another acquisition could still be contemplated. Both players could conceivably coexist on the same roster (perhaps, but not necessarily, in a three-catcher arrangement with Michael Perez), or the Rays could in theory flip Zunino.
For now, that’s just another scenario to keep an eye on as the market develops. Here’s some more trade chatter from the Winter Meetings:
- The Athletics have engaged the Rangers in trade talks regarding infielder Jurickson Profar, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (via Twitter). It seems the Oakland organization is scanning the market at second base, as the club is known to have interest in bringing back Jed Lowrie and has also been connected to Ian Kinsler (link) and DJ LeMahieu (link), with veteran Troy Tulowitzki perhaps representing a possibility as well. Rosenthal adds that handing the job to Franklin Barreto remains a possibility, as GM David Forst recently suggested, though it certainly appears that’s not the club’s preference. Profar, who seems to have been around forever but is just 25 years of age, turned in easily his most impressive season to date in 2018, slashing .254/.335/.458 with twenty long balls and ten steals over 594 plate appearances.
- There has been a bevy of rumors surrounding the Reds, who seem to be knocking on quite a few doors at multiple positions. Pitching, though, remains the key. The Cincinnati ballclub is still “active in trade discussions” with the Yankees on Sonny Gray and the Blue Jays on Marcus Stroman, per Jon Morosi of MLB.com (Twitter link). It’ll surprise few to hear that the Reds see those two hurlers as more reasonably achievable targets than Indians ace Corey Kluber, as Morosi adds. Both Gray and Stroman profile as bounceback targets, marking quite a distinction from Kluber, with the former clearly set to be dealt but the latter occupying a less-certain position on the trade market. With two years of control remaining, the Jays are said to be putting a high price on Stroman.
- Speaking of Reds trade chatter, Rosenthal tweets that the club is still kicking around scenarios with the Dodgers. (We previously rounded up the rumors on that match here, here, and here.) It turns out that the clubs are discussing scenarios involving Matt Kemp, along with a host of other previously rumored players, in what are quite obviously wide-ranging talks. No deal is close, says Rosenthal, though it certainly appears as if both teams believe they match up well on paper on a deal that would, in conjunction with some other pieces, send an expensive outfielder to Cincinnati and deliver the hefty Homer Bailey contract out west. It’ll be fascinating to see whether something comes together in these talks — or, frankly, any of the many others being conducted by the Cincinnati and Los Angeles organizations.
- We heard yesterday about the latest in the Rockies’ search for a big bat, and Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post updates the situation. Edwin Encarnacion of the Indians is a “legitimate target,” per the report, though GM Jeff Bridich has indicated that Wil Myers of the division-rival Padres is not. The Colorado organization is obviously looking to come away from the offseason with at least one significant offensive upgrade, though as yet it’s not clear whether the team has really narrowed its focus or is still canvassing the market in search of value.