In a rumor-filled story at The Athletic today, Ken Rosenthal reported that sources said the Washington Nationals have checked in on Miami Marlins’ catcher J.T. Realmuto, 26, who is reportedly available this winter, under team control for the next three seasons, and said to want out of the latest rebuild in Miami.
Rosenthal isn’t the first to report on the Nationals’ rumored interest in Realmuto, who has put up a combined .280/.322/.428 line over his first four major league seasons and is coming off a .278/.332/.451, 31 double, 17 home run, 3.6 fWAR campaign in 2017:
As we’ve reported, Nats love Realmuto. Question was always going to be prospect price. But they were always going to ask that question.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) January 4, 2018
Rosenthal isn’t even the only one today to report on the Nationals at least checking in on the availability of the Marlins’ backstop.
And another report has the Nats interested in Miami outfielder Christian Yelich as well.
MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro, citing “multiple sources”, wrote today that the Nationals are in fact, “... interested in Realmuto and Yelich, either individually or perhaps together in what would be a mega package.”
While noting that nothing is imminent with either player or any particular team, and adding that more than a dozen teams have reached out to the Fish, Fisaro adds that the Nationals checked in on Realmuto at the Winter Meetings but, “were told [he] was not available,” while, “... the Marlins are [now] open to at least discussing the possibility of moving their two most coveted players.”
Writing on Twitter today, Rosenthal noted that Washington, “... definitely wants to upgrade its catching,” but added that the Nationals, “... don’t want to part with [Victor] Robles or [Juan] Soto, sources say,” and, “[Alex] Avila [is] still possible as free agent.”
Both Rosenthal and Washington Post writer Chelsea Janes have previously mentioned the rumored interest in Avila.
Nats’ GM Mike Rizzo addressed the catching situation in the organization at the Winter Meetings, after Matt Wieters exercised a player option for $10.5M in 2018.
Rizzo said he was happy with the Nationals’ available in-house options, though that hasn’t stopped the rumors.
“We think Wieters is going to be a bounce-back candidate this year,” Rizzo said.
“He caught a lot of games for us last year, we’d like to curtail that a little bit. We love the upside of [Pedro] Severino, and fortunately in our organization we have a lot of depth catcher-wise. Raudy Read is right around the corner and Sevy has shown us he can handle the pitching staff defensively and he’s shown some flashes offensively of being a guy that can be an everyday catcher for us.”
Will Rizzo and Co. in the Nationals’ front office try to upgrade their catching corps for 2018 and beyond?