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J.T. Realmuto To The Dodgers Would Take These Real Options

Dodgers
Sep 18, 2018; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto (11) singles in a run in the fifth inning against the Washington Nationals at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers are in the market for a new starting catcher. J.T. Realmuto of the Miami Marlins seems like the perfect fit for this role – but what kind of package would it take to wrestle the All-Star away from Miami? Nevertheless, Realmuto is arbitration-eligible following the 2019 season, and can’t reach free agency until 2021 ends.

Within this post, we examine the pieces the Dodgers could use as bait in a trade to lure the nice fish from Miami.

Alex Wood

Good left-handed starting pitchers typically get a conversation going, and Alex Wood has been classified as ‘good’. An All-Star in 2017, Wood regressed slightly in 2018 albeit still solid numbers. Wood is arbitration-eligible now and stands to get a slight pay raise from his current $6M salary. With solid career numbers (52-40, 3.29 ERA), Wood could be penciled in as a near-frontline starter for Miami from day one. The Marlins have struggled to find solid starting pitching depth since the untimely death of Jose Fernandez, and the Dodgers have a surplus as of now of starters. Wood gets the conversation going.

Caleb Ferguson

Ferguson was called up as a starter – but moonlighted as a reliever for the Dodgers in 2018. The rookie acclimated himself well to the game’s highest level in 2018. He finished the year with a 7-2 record, 3.49 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 49 innings. With a phenomenal minor league track record on his resumé – Ferguson figures to play up as a starting pitcher in the long-term. Still, why would the Dodgers want to include Ferguson in this deal with his youth and high upside? To be fair – you have to give up someone of value to get something of value. With the way the Marlins are structured, they won’t just accept high-priced veterans for Realmuto. It will take at least one player of Ferguson’s ilk to get this deal to the table. Ferguson made just $545,000 in 2018 and will make only slightly more in 2019. Nevertheless – with several pitches and an arm that can touch mid to high 90’s with his fastball – Ferguson could be considered a key piece.

An Outfielder: Yasiel Puig or Joc Pederson

Let me begin this by saying that I would loathe seeing either Joc Pederson or Yasiel Puig involved in a trade. However, the fact of the matter is the Dodgers have a glut of outfielders; and the logjam could be solved by a trade. Cody Bellinger figures to receive more playing time in the outfield in 2019 with Max Muncy and (presumably) David Freese occupying first-base. This simply means less at-bats to go around for Puig and Pederson.

Puig is still a good big league player – his 2.7 fWAR in 2018 when the dust settled says as much. The Wild Horse is a nice fit in Los Angeles. The Miami community values exciting, latin-born players. No player has ever breathed who is more entertaining to watch. This could make Puig a major drawing-card for that organization. Puig could be a great headline act in Miami who does good things for that community and connects with the fan base. His numbers are also solid – 23 homers, 15 steals and great defense in a corner outfield spot.

Pederson – by all indications – is thought to have some value in league circles. He’s hit 25 or more home runs in three of the last four seasons and has a career OPS around .800 due to decent on-base skills. Still just entering his age-27 season, he doesn’t yet make a mammoth salary. A free agent after 2021 – Pederson doesn’t have anything that would appear to detract from his value to Miami.

Final Thoughts

Realmuto was thought to be on the move at the 2018 deadline. When this didn’t happen, the logical explanation was that the Marlins could get more of a haul in the 2018 offseason. Now, with that time being the present; you can expect them to field a surplus of calls on the valuable young catcher. The Dodgers need to be aggressive in their pursuit of Realmuto if they’re to land him. This will require both pieces of sentimental and analytical value – but the payoff could be huge. If the Dodgers lock down an All-Star caliber piece behind home plate without giving up a true integral piece – it’s a step in the right direction to winning another NL pennant.

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Written by Clint Evans

Clint lives in Ohio, and played collegiate baseball. He loves the Dodgers due to his first memories of Chavez Ravine when he was nine years old. The voice of Vin Scully has been a staple in his life since he was a kid. No amount of baseball talk is ever enough, and he wishes the regular season was year round. He has written about baseball online since 2007.

22 Comments

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  1. This is silly. First off, I would think that the corner stone of any trade for Realmuto is Ruiz. Secondly, Caleb Ferguson isn’t going anywhere, he’s barely 22, has the build of a workhorse and has a big fastball that sits near 95. He’s a third pitch away from being a top of the rotation arm. Alex Wood and Yasiel Puig only have one more year of control, so that isn’t very attractive to the Marlins who will be noncompetitive for at least the next couple of years. So, that basically rules out Joc as well. So no, there is no way in hell that any trade even remotely resembling this one will bring JT to LA. Florida is going to want Major League ready prospects with a lot of control for this to happen. The Marlins are gonna start off by asking for Lux, Ruiz, Verdugo, Peters, and they’re gonna want arms like Ferguson, Santana, May, White. They would probably do the deal for 2 of this list, 2 lower prospects like Alvarez, Heredia, Sopko, and maybe round it out with Toles, Rios or Beaty. You can’t just say, I’ll trade you all my crap that isn’t working out for your star player.

    • Completely agree. If you put yourself on Miami’s shoe just for sec and you’d instantly realize this deal makes no sense whatsoever. No, Jeter doesn’t want to turn 3 years of Realmuto into 1 year of Wood/puigy while paying more salary. Call me pessimistic, but I do not think Miami will be a contending team next year (MIND BLOWN). This trade sounds more like a straight up Ferguson Realmuto to trade – which, again being pessimistic, won’t happen.
      Some fans proposes the most absurd trade deal and gets angry why their GM does not get this deal done. I remember one Texas fan wanting Kershaw for Darvish Yu and a less-than-spectacular prospect.

    • Thank you for being a little bolder than me, I wanted to rip this to shreds. I couldn’t stop laughing at the line “real options”. There is going to be a bidding war for Realmuto and if the dodgers want him they will actually have to give the Marlins players that they would want that are controllable. It will start with Ruiz and may have to include Muncy.

  2. Agreed, that’s not going to get it done. MIA asked for Juan Soto from WASH, Wood, Ferguson and Puig/Joc isn’t going to cut it. My guess is they will ask for Verdugo, Smith, and Furguson.

    I also don’t understand the interest, unless Smith and/or Ruiz are 3 or more years out, why not just let Barnes play this year, and maybe one of them is ready in 2020.

  3. You have to give up good pieces to get someone like this. So start with wood, Stewart, Puig, verdigu, Ruiz.

  4. No chance the Marlins would be interested in Wood, Puig, or Pedersen. At least 2-3 good young prospects. At lest two of these would need to be highly regarded.

  5. Wood, yes, Ruiz no. I would do Wood, Toles, Rios and Will Smith. I am also, ready to move on from Chris Taylor. I love his versatility and speed, but if I can’t cut down the Ks, then trade him.

  6. why do any of that we have ruiz and he is more than ready to move up and worse case scenario he is way better than both we have now. stupid idea

  7. I would avoid dealing Ruiz if that could be possible, but in any case Realmuto won’t reach FA until 2021 and he bats RH. i bring that up because with Seager returning, plus Verdugo, Pederson, Bellinger, Muncy all are LHB and if ya had not noticed, we did struggle against some good LHP during the year and ESPECIALLY the WS. We don’t need a lineup of all LHB because they will not improve this team against the LHP they will certainly see a lot of in 2019. Now whatever takes place, if Dodgers continue this obsession with L-R-L match ups then we may be no better off next year either. let’s put a consIstent lineup out there that can compete AGAINST BOTH RHP AND LHP. platooning then won’t be a necessity on a daily basis in that case. yes, do so for scheduled days off for some, as nobody is expected to play all 162 games.

    • Every one else but the author makes sense. Realmuto to the Dodgers is a worthwhile pursuit. It really boils down to Realmuto vs Ruiz. Bottom line. One is proven, one isn’t. One bats strong side right, the other switch hits. Are the first two points above worth another top 10 prospect in return in addition to Ruiz? Therein lays the question. I’d say yes. I assume the Dodgers would still keep Smith.

      • AGREED!! What are we talking about here? The best catcher in the game people! I’m sick of prospects that tear up at Rancho Cucamonga and never hear from them. We have 2 catchers as prospects. Both good. Trade 1 and get this man for goodness sake. Over thinking this people.

    • I’m gonna have to just go ahead and *disagree* with you a little here (Office Space Scene).

  8. We dont wanna just win another National League title and get embarrassed again with a team winning the Championship on our soil. We wanna win the World Series. The problem with the Dodgers front office is they think of only money deals with time warner and not fans. They think winning the National League title is success. Well nobody gives a you know what about who finished second place!

  9. I agree, why give up so much talent when we have Ruiz and Smith. We just need someone to fill the gap. And I’m ball for trading Joc, I like him but we have too many outfielders with more coming up from the farm. He seems like the most expendable.

  10. Any trade for Realmuto would have to start with Smith at worst and Ruiz at best. Marlins aren’t looking for anything other than top end prospects.

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