All offseason long, the Miami Marlins have made it clear that their plan is to trade All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto.
"I think J.T. Realmuto is the best catcher in baseball", Phillies general manager Matt Klentak told reporters on a conference call Thursday.
Will Steward, a left-handed pitcher, is also going to the Marlins in the trade for Realmuto.
Even as the Harper and Machado sweepstakes lurch into their fourth months - with numerous usual, big-money suspects (Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs) apparently taking a pass, and the void filled with some dark horses and mystery teams (Chicago White Sox, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants) - much of the industry takes it as an inevitability that the Phillies will walk away with one of them. He replaced Santana's on-base skills with outfielder Andrew McCutchen's 30-double, 20-homer pedigree, and brought in David Robertson, one of the game's most consistent late-game relievers. The Phillies had the worst batting average in the major leagues previous year (.234) and were third in strikeouts (1,520). Starting pitcher Sixto Sanchez headlines the return for Miami.
If they both struggle as they did in 2018, then the team can always make an in-season trade, or perhaps one of their top catching prospects, Keibert Ruiz or Will Smith, will be Major League ready sooner than expected. He set career highs last season in home runs (21), RBI (74) and slugging (.484) en route to his first MLB All-Star nomination and Silver Slugger Award.
Klentak also his defense and impact on the clubhouse are also a plus.
The GM, entering his fourth season with the Phils, has had a very good winter.
Nothing wrong with taking a shot, but teams rarely overpay under any circumstances anymore, not in free agency, not in trades. They haven't had a winning season since 2009 and haven't been to the playoffs since winning the World Series in 2003.
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