You can understand why the Miami Marlins would insist on getting either Victor Robles or Juan Soto in any deal with the Washington Nationals for catcher J.T. Realmuto, but it also makes sense for the Nationals to want to hold on to their top outfield prospects.
Washington is reportedly one of a dozen or more teams interested in acquiring the catcher. Will the two teams be able to agree on a package that allows the divisional rivals to make a trade?
According to multiple reports, neither team seems to be budging. The Marlins are said to want to get Robles or Soto in return in any deal for Realmuto, who’s under team control through the 2020 campaign, while the Nationals, reportedly, would prefer to deal from lower down on their prospect depth chart.
MLB.com’s Jon Morosi was the latest to touch on the chatter about a potential deal when he wrote on Twitter today that the Fish are still determined to get one of the Nationals’ top prospects.
Sources: #Marlins, #Nationals remain in touch but have not made progress on a J.T. Realmuto trade. Thus far, Miami has asked for deal to include Victor Robles or Juan Soto; Nats have said no. (@JonHeyman first reported Robles as part of ask.) @MLB @MLBNetwork— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) February 5, 2018
MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro too wrote last week that the Marlins want either Robles or Soto included while the Nats remain unwilling to include either of their top two overall and outfield prospects.
With veteran backstop Matt Wieters (who struggled offensively in 2017, didn’t put up great numbers defensively, but was well-liked by the Nationals’ pitchers who were throwing to him) under contract (at $10.5M for 2018) and catchers Pedro Severino and Raudy Read (and recently signed Miguel Montero) expected to compete for the backup role in the nation’s capital this Spring, the Nationals, and GM Mike Rizzo don’t appear desperate to make a deal for another catcher, though they could upgrade their catching corps.
“Sources say neither prospect [Robles or Soto] is available,” Frisaro added, “... and the Nationals instead are open to a package that would center around shortstop Carter Kieboom and right-hander Erick Fedde.”
FanRag’s Jon Heyman wrote earlier this month that the Nats, “... are believed willing to consider,” dealing players like expected everyday center fielder, “Michael Taylor, shortstop Carter Kieboom, pitchers Erick Fedde and Seth Romero, and catchers Pedro Severino and Raudy Read.”
Will the Fish accept a package including a few of those names, or will they find a team that’s willing to part with their top prospects in return for Realmuto, who finished the 2018 campaign with a a .278/.332/.451 line, 31 doubles, and 17 homers over 141 games and 579 plate appearances, in which he was worth 3.6 fWAR?