Acquiring catcher J.T. Realmuto from the Miami Marlins would be a great move for the New York Mets. But it’s not going to happen.
Make no mistake about it: Miami’s J.T. Realmuto wouldn’t just be a replacement for the injured Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki, he’d be a massive upgrade for the New York Mets.
You know it. I know it. The players know it and it looks like the Mets know it as well. Friday afternoon, Mike Puma of the New York Post reported that the Mets and the Marlins had discussed a potential deal.
The Mets have spoken to the Marlins about J.T. Realmuto. It would take a haul to land him, plus Realmuto has not played yet this season because of a back contusion. That said, the Marlins are rebuilding so maybe there is common ground that can be found.
— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) April 13, 2018
While Realmuto has yet to play in 2018 due to a lower back contusion, the 27-year-old has established himself as one of the game’s best backstops. Over the past two seasons, he’s hit a combined .290 with 28 home runs, 113 RBI and a .777 OPS.
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More importantly, from a Mets perspective, Realmuto is superb at shutting down the opposition’s running game. Since 2016, he’s thrown out 33.8 percent of would-be base stealers, nearly seven percent higher than league average.
That’s other-worldly compared to d’Arnaud’s combined 24.1 percent mark over the same time span and far better than Plawecki’s 28.5 percent mark.
Here’s where the problem lies. The Marlins aren’t going to give Realmuto away, especially to a division rival.
Everyone knows that Miami is rebuilding, stockpiling young, controllable talent as Derek Jeter and company look to build a team that’s capable of long-term success in South Beach.
It’s true that they didn’t get much back in the Giancarlo Stanton trade, but remember, the Yankees picked up the nearly $300 million left on his deal.
Miami is going to want a far more substantial return for Realmuto, who is making a very affordable $2.9 million in 2018 and is under team control through 2020.
You can bet that names like Michael Conforto and Amed Rosario will be mentioned. Obviously, the Mets aren’t trading either one. But they don’t have much else to offer.
Brandon Nimmo? The Marlins have Lewis Brinson, one of the pieces they acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers in the Christian Yelich trade. And the Mets steadfastly refused to trade him over the winter. There’s little reason to think they would now.
Steven Matz? If you were running the Marlins, wouldÂ you want an oft-injured 26-year-old starter who, despite having wipeout stuff, has struggled with his command?
Dominic Smith‘s value took a big hit after his unimpressive MLB debut last season, and he’s not exactly a fit in Miami, where Justin Bour has first base locked down.
So what does that leave the Mets to offer?
Their best prospects, guys like Andres Gimenez, Desmond Lindsay, David Peterson and Mark Vientos are still years away from contributing. Peter Alonso and Justin Dunn are a bit further along in their development, but both are still likely another year away from the majors.
While it’s certainly not out of the question that some of those prospects would intrigue the Marlins, odds are that they’re looking for a package of prospects that can contribute sooner rather than later.
After all, this is a team that was recently outdrawn by its Double-A affiliate. They need talent that gives fans a reason to come out to the ballpark in 2018 and 2019, not just in 2020 and 2021.
So what does this all mean for the Mets catching situation? If general manager Sandy Alderson wants to bring in help from outside the organization, he’s going to have to look somewhere besides Miami for it.