The Nationals could be willing to “revisit” talks with the Marlins about J.T. Realmuto, according to Fancred Sports’ Jon Heyman. The Nats have long been connected to Realmuto, though GM Mike Rizzo seemingly threw cold water on the potential of a trade a few weeks ago by saying that his team wasn’t willing to meet Miami’s very high asking price for the star catcher. Now, there is some belief that Washington could be open to dealing star outfield prospect Victor Robles, though Heyman notes that this is unconfirmed. The Nats were firmly against the idea of dealing Robles or Carter Kieboom to the Marlins for Realmuto, which is what brought talks to a halt in the first place.
Robles entered the season as a consensus top-10 prospect in baseball, and after making his MLB debut in 2017, there were whispers that he could emerge (like Juan Soto has) as an everyday option in Washington’s outfield this season. Instead, however, Robles has missed almost the entire year due to a hyperextended elbow, and has only recently begun a rehab assignment. He’ll have only a couple of weeks to fully return to action and prove his health prior to the July 31 trade deadline, though one suspects that Robles’ stock is high enough that he would have to appear drastically limited (or suffer another injury) to lose too much value as a trade chip.
Here’s some more from around the NL East…
- The Nationals are also one of the many teams interested in Rays starter Nathan Eovaldi, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times writes. Washington won’t necessarily have any room in the rotation once assuming Stephen Strasburg returns from the DL when expected, though Eovaldi could conceivably replace Jeremy Hellickson or the struggling Tanner Roark. The Yankees, Brewers, and Braves have also been linked to Eovaldi, and scouts from at least five other teams have been watching his recent outings.
- Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos discussed his team’s trade deadline approach with Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, in the first part of a wide-ranging interview (the second part will be published on Monday). While the Braves have a deep farm system, the GM aren’t keen on dealing from that prospect depth for players only under contract through 2018. “We would prefer not to go after rentals unless the acquisition cost just makes so much sense for us,” Anthopoulos said. “There’s a lot of pain that has gone into putting together this young talent. We’re not ready to throw that all away just because of one season. That said, I do think we owe it to the players and the fan base and the organization to make this team better, one way or another.” Anthopoulos said that the trade market is currently flooded with teams shopping their pending free agents, estimating that “90 percent of the players that are actively available right now are rental players.”
- The Braves will be able to afford some upgrades at the deadline, as Anthopoulos said that the team set aside some payroll space before the season should some more spending be required midway through the year. That original total has now increased since team revenues have also risen as a result of the Braves’ success. “I’ve been given very specific instructions, and I can shop in any aisle. I can at least have a conversation. I can tell you right now in all the discussions and all the players we’ve discussed, there’s no single player that we can’t afford,” Anthopoulos said. “Where ultimately we’d have an (in-house) discussion is if we’re looking at adding three or four big-league guys at big contracts. That’s when maybe the numbers start to add up and we’d have to evaluate it. But one or two guys right now would not be a problem at all.”