Published: Fri, February 08, 2019
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Marlins Trade J.T. Realmuto To Phillies After Offseason Full Of Rumors

Marlins Trade J.T. Realmuto To Phillies After Offseason Full Of Rumors

The move is a bit surprising as it was assumed other Major League Baseball teams had maneuvered into position to make a deal, with the Dodgers, Padres, Reds, Rays, and Braves making their strongest offers in the past few days. And then you've got any free agents out there who may have been on hold, pending the resolution of this deal (not just catchers like Martin Maldonado, but also maybe the big boys, given that they are being pursued by some of the same teams that were going after Realmuto - you just don't know how those things intersect).

Scheduled to make $5.9 million this season, Realmuto wouldn't preclude the Phils from signing Bryce Harper or Manny Machado.

"We did not have to trade J.T.", president of baseball operations Michael Hill said.

Alfaro satisfies the Marlins' reported desire to land an MLB-ready catcher in any Realmuto trade. Plus, he isn't eligible for arbitration until next year and won't be a free agent until 2021. He reports that top Phillies pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez would join young backstop Jorge Alfaro as the two key pieces of the package. All four National League East teams showed interest in Realmuto at some point over the previous year. He and the front office met before Spring Training, discussing options for the upcoming season, asking him to buy into the new plan for the organization. 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.

He was by far the team's most valuable asset and the most marketable face.

What happens now is the Marlins head to Spring Training in Jupiter, Florida minus one of their leaders and the need for someone else to assume the role of power hitter/clutch performer.

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The Marlins finished last in the NL East past year with a 63-98 record.

The Marlins were engaged in trade discussions with multiple teams for most of the offseason before completing the deal.

From the Dodgers, Miami wanted first baseman/outfielder Cody Bellinger. While he has not pitched above the High-A minors, the Dominican right-hander is just 20.

Sanchez is the most well-regarded prospect in the deal, a 6-foot right-hander whose fastball sits in the high 90s and tops out over 100 miles per hour. He hit.262 with 10 homers in his first full major league season a year ago.

Stewart really blossomed as a prospect this past year, as the former 20th round draft pick posted an 8-1 record, along with a 2.06 ERA and a.0977 WHiP in the South Atlantic League.

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