The Washington Nationals are the team “most heavily engaged” in trade talks with the Miami Marlins for their catcher J.T. Realmuto, according to SiriusXM’s Craig Mish:
Source : The team most heavily engaged in trade discussions for JT Realmuto is the Washington Nationals.— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) January 25, 2018
FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman echoed Mish’s initial report:
nats are among teams trying to reel in realmuto, the last man standing #fish— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 25, 2018
Realmuto, a right-handed hitting catcher, is a consistent high-.200s hitter, who hit .278 last season on his way to 17 home runs and 68 RBI with Miami.
From last month’s “What would J.T. Realmuto and Christian Yelich cost?”:
“Realmuto, who could be a free agent in 2021 at the earliest, bats right handed and was worth 3.6 fWAR in 2017, compared to [Current Nationals catcher Matt] Wieters’ -0.2.”
With a deal for another catcher, Nationals would be looking to upgrade over Wieters, who put up the worst season of his career last season, batting .225 and exercised an option this winter that pays him $10.5M in 2018.
The discussion about Realmuto heated up quickly after the Milwaukee Brewers acquired outfielder Christian Yelich from Miami, furthering what can at this point only be considered as a total rebuild for the Marlins.
However, the question, as always, centers around the following: Will the Nationals give up what the Marlins demand for Realmuto?
At the moment, Miami’s bargaining position is considerably worse; before today, Miami had been ambiguous as to whether they would be willing to trade either Yelich or Realmuto; with that in mind, a high asking price likely held more legitimacy than it did today.
The Nationals, though they have a history of making moves late into February (signing Wieters in mid-February of last year, for instance), are an essentially complete team a nearly everywhere but at catcher. However, other options remain (free agent Alex Avila or in-house option Pedro Severino splitting time with Wieters).
Even so, Miami’s sights are high — namely, they have their eyes on Nationals’ number-one prospect Victor Robles.
marlins have been asking for nats top outfield prospect victor robles in trade talks— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 26, 2018
According to the Washington Post’s Jorge Castillo, the Nationals not interested in parting with Anthony Rendon, Trea Turner, Victor Robles, or (second-ranked prospect in system) Juan Soto.
The Nationals remain interested in J.T. Realmuto, but there are four names they're not willing to discuss (and a couple other things on what's left for them this offseason): https://t.co/koNgTHrdWG— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) January 26, 2018
More info when there is some...