There are new rumors floating around about the cost of trading for Marlins catcher J.T. Reamulto.
Our Clint Evans wrote yesterday about AM570’s David Vassegh being told that trade talks between the Dodgers and Marlins would start at “somebody like a” Cody Bellinger, and either Yasiel Puig or Alex Verdugo . Because of the absurdity of those names, there were a lot of reactions within our own Dodgers Nation staff, and on Twitter. I tossed this one out as I was just writing some quick thoughts.
6. I envision Verdugo playing a significant role in 2019
7. They should want someone like May, Ferguson or Santana
8. Starlin Castro was decent last year with a 3.3 bWAR. He’s about $8.6M AAV. FA after ‘19 with an option. Could be something to consider to lower prospect cost
— Tim Rogers (SD Dodger) (@SDDodger) November 16, 2018
Why J.T. Realmuto?
First off, Realmuto was the best offensive catcher in 2018, according to FanGraphs. Yasmani Grandal was second best.
Defensively, where most have complained about Grandal, I put together some key defensive statistics to look at:
Credits and Abbreviations
SB – Stolen bases against the catcher
CS – number of runners caught stealing
PB – number of passed balls against the catcher
WP – number of wild pitches thrown by the pitcher while catching
FR – number of runs saved by pitch framing (Framing Runs)
FRAA – total number of runs saved by factoring in framing, blocking and throwing along with other adjustments (Fielding Runs Above Average)
Looking at the raw defensive data, Realmuto looks like a step down. We all know Grandal had issues with catching the ball in 2018, but it really showed up in the playoffs. There were times during the season where it seemed he had the yips when it came to catching the ball on throws at home plate. That can happen when a player exceeds their limits.
The Rumored Players
These are players that have been part of the speculation we’ve seen and heard about, however, none of these rumors are close to confirmed.
Cody Bellinger: Heck no! First of all, Cody has the talent to be a superstar, so I can’t imagine him being a part of any trade for a two year player, even one as good as Realmuto. The Dodgers need more players like Bellinger; fast, versatile, good on both offense and defense. Since Bellinger will also be pretty cheap in 2019 — as he’s not eligible for arbitration yet — he’s a good player to keep around.
Yasiel Puig: Here’s another one we have heard a lot. There is some bad history between Puig and former Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, the current manager of the Marlins. However, Puig is a guy that will help the Marlins attract some fans down in Miami. Heck, fire Mattingly if he doesn’t want Puig. I’m a Puig fan and envision the 2019 outfield to be Alex Verdugo, Cody Bellinger and Yasiel Puig. I doubt he is traded to the Marlins as he’s also going to get around $11M in arbitration.
Alex Verdugo: He is an obvious name since he’s a top prospect and has the chance to be very good. For the Dodgers, they either need to commit to Verdugo or trade him. It is not fair to hold him back as he’s another one of those types of players I want the Dodgers to have. He’s good with the glove and the bat, makes good contact and gets on base. His approach at the plate is second only to Justin Turner on the Dodgers.
Gavin Lux: I think he’s reached internal Dodgers untouchable list. Only way he goes is in a bigger trade.
Young Pitchers: It is likely that the Marlins would want young starting pitching in a deal, and the Dodgers have some good ones down on the farm. You would probably need to give up one of Dustin May, Caleb Ferguson, Dennis Santana, Mitchell White or Tony Gonsolin. The prospect hugger in me cringes at losing any of these guys, but at least one would need to be part of the trade.
Young Catchers: I believe Keibert Ruiz and Diego Cartaya are off limits. I did examine the top Dodgers catching prospects a few days ago and the Dodgers are loaded but none will be ready to go in 2019. I would think Will Smith or Connor Wong would have to be part of any deal.
Young Outfielders: After Alex Verdugo there are some good prospects that are still a year or three away from contributing at the Major League level. Some names that could be moved would include D.J. Peters or Jeren Kendall.
The Dodgers have an excellent list of prospects and some would have to be included in any trade for Realmuto.
But What About…
I do not see a scenario where the Marlins take on any money. If someone who would make significant salary is part of the package then the Dodgers would need to take someone back like a Starlin Castro. He has an $8.6 million hit against the luxury tax but he’s not bad. It is possible that if the Dodgers took on Wei-Yin Chen ($16M against tax for 2 more years), Castro or Derek Dietrich then the prospect cost could go down.
As a confirmed prospect hugger, I’d prefer the route of taking on some salary to lighten the prospect load. Here are some ideas:
- The Marlins ignore Mattingly in regards to Puig or fire him
- Salaries of extra players need to match or come out in favor for the Marlins
- Joc Pederson or Puig, Dustin May and Will Smith for J.T. Realmuto and Starlin Castro
- Pederson/Puig, Alex Wood, Mitchell White and Connor Wong for Realmuto and Wei-Yin Chen
- Pederson, May and Smith for Realmuto and Derek Dietrich
For the pure prospect route:
- The Dodgers aren’t going to start Verdugo in 2019
- Marlins aren’t taking on any salary other than minimums
- I think May might be on the internal Dodgers untouchable list but am including him in trades as he’s a big trade chip
- Top 10 prospects according to MiLB, in order are Verdugo, Ruiz, May, Lux, Smith, Santana, White, Peters, Kendall and Yadier Alvarez (he’s falling fast)
- Verdugo, White, Wong for Realmuto
- Peters, May, Smith for Realmuto
- Verdugo, Smith for Realmuto
Of course, there are countless trade scenarios that we can all think of — some could include a reliever from the Marlins. Knowing how the Dodgers work we will be surprised in some way. Looking at a lot of the numbers and the cost, don’t be surprised if Yasmani Grandal is the starting catcher in 2019. Also don’t be surprised if it is Austin Barnes and Yan Gomes or similar.
There are other teams trying to trade for Realmuto, and as a result, either the Dodgers or one of those teams will likely set the market. The Marlins can ask for anybody they want but that is just a starting point. I have enough faith in the Dodgers front office that they will take a measured approach to this and any other trade. I do not envision the Dodgers overpaying for Realmuto and if some other team will, they will get him. In terms of likelihood, I think the Dodgers have a 25% chance of getting Realmuto.
[button color=”red” size=”big” alignment=”none” rel=”follow” openin=”samewindow” url=”https://www.dodgersnation.com/the-2018-dodgers-player-review-yasiel-puig-th0994/2018/11/16/”]The 2018 Dodgers’ Player Review: Yasiel Puig[/button]