The Marlins’ trade talks centering around J.T. Realmuto have reached “advanced stages,” reports Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, who lists four possible suitors still in the mix: the Padres, Reds, Dodgers and Braves.
While the report seems to advance things from previous levels, it should be pointed out that this isn’t the first time talks have reportedly gained momentum. In fact, that exact terminology (“gaining momentum”) was used last Friday with no deal yet coming to fruition. Earlier this week, the Reds were said to have “made progress” on a Realmuto swap before those reports were walked back, and it’s now been three weeks to the day since the Marlins were first reported to be in “substantive” trade talks regarding Realmuto.
Whatever is going on behind the scenes, it seems clear that there has at times been a concerted effort to convey the idea that talks have been more productive than is the case in actuality. Perhaps that’s the Miami organization trying to pressure other clubs to inch their offers toward the reported sky-high asking price, but with all due respect to those involved, it’s become difficult to determine just how close a deal is to reality. For instance, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman tweets that the Dodgers aren’t even active in their pursuit at the moment but adds the Rays to the list of current pursuers; Frisaro’s report, in contradictory fashion, says the Rays and Astros look to have largely bowed out of the race while listing the Dodgers as a factor. MLB.com’s Jon Morosi tweeted last night that the Padres are more involved than the Dodgers.
The greatest cause for optimism regarding a terminus in this exhausting saga could be the latest column from The Athletic’s Dennis Lin (subscription required), wherein he writes that there are “signs that [the asking price] has come down in recent days.” The Padres have reportedly sought an extension with Realmuto as a contingency in any trade, though Lin now writes that the organization remains confident it could sell the catcher on its promising future even though the Marlins have denied interested teams a window to negotiate a long-term deal.
Over the past week, the Padres and Reds have been the two teams most strongly linked to Realmuto, with Atlanta, Los Angeles and Tampa Bay oft rumored to be involved to varying extents. The continually conflicting depiction of the extent to which each is (or isn’t) interested makes individual updates perhaps worth taking with a grain of salt. However, the pronounced increase of rumors surrounding Realmuto does seem to lend credence to the notion that the Marlins have upped their efforts to find a palatable deal.