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JT Realmuto won’t sign extension?

Jeff Berry of CAA represents Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto. He also announced that Realmuto won’t sign an extension. Could the Milwaukee Brewers swing another trade for Realmuto this off season?

The Milwaukee Brewers could use a catcher, and they were linked to Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto during the fire sale. Realmuto has two years of arbitration left before he becomes a free agent. Could the Marlins look to flip Realmuto before the 2019 season starts?

What’s Realmuto expected to earn in 2019?

Realmuto is in his second year of salary arbitration. He earned $2.9 million last year, and is expected to get a raise close to $6.1 million. He has one more year of arbitration beyond 2019, and then he hits free agency in 2020

How did Realmuto perform in 2018?

In 125 games, Realmuto posted a .277/.340/.484 slash line with 21 homers, 74 runs scored, 74 RBIs, and three steals. Behind the plate, he caught 21 out of 34 would be base stealers, allowed eight passed balls, and committed seven errors.

He also posted a 4.8 WAR in 2018, good for the best mark in baseball for qualified catchers. Yasmani Grandal came in second with a 3.6 WAR.

What would a deal for Realmuto look like?

Well, it took two top-100 prospects plus two other prospects for the Milwaukee Brewers to pry Christian Yelich away from the Miami Marlins. However, Yelich’s contract runs through 2022, and Realmuto is a free agent after 2020.

But given Realmuto’s position, age, and ability. It’s still going to cost the Milwaukee Brewers dearly. Top prospect Keston Hiura would likely be the centerpiece of any such deal, and a solid arm such as Marcos Diplan or Zack Brown would also have to go. The Brewers would also have to include a name or two off a Rookie League or Dominican League roster to round out the deal.

Next: Should the Brewers pursue Yasmani Grandal?

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The Marlins aren’t likely to deal Realmuto at this point, but given the strong words from his agent, it’s clear that they’ll have to move on at some point in the next two years. Realmuto’s value is at the highest level it’s ever been after his solid 2018 campaign. It makes sense to sell-high now, instead of trying to wait out the market. The Miami Marlins have shown that they are willing to deal top players for prospects, and the Milwaukee Brewers have been able to pull off big moves. There’s no smoke around this deal right now, but that could change as the off season plays out.

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