Revisiting the Dodgers Price Tag for JT Realmuto from Miami

You call twice just so you can hang up the phone on them again!

The 2018-2019 off-season was wildly speculative for the Dodgers. There was Manny Machado chatter, non-stop Bryce Harper talk, and of course JT Realmuto discussions.

As the Dodgers start a series in Miami, we revisit the trade that never happened.

The Derek Jeter led Marlins have faced a lot of criticism since purchasing the team in 2017. In less than two full calendar years, Miami has traded or lost what, on paper today, looks like a playoff contending team.

  • Dee Gordon
  • Derek Dietrich
  • Marcell Ozuna
  • Giancarlo Stanton
  • Christian Yelich

And of course, JT Realmuto.

Ozuna has hit 45 home runs over the last two seasons (when healthy), Stanton is a perennial All-Star, and MVP candidate (…when healthy), and Yelich won the NL MVP in 2018 (and may be en route to defending that crown).

For those transactions, the Marlins have been widely panned as losers in the trades — almost immediately — so this past off-season, they looked to finally win a trade.

And they looked at Los Angeles, coming off consecutive World Series losses, as desperate enough to help them win.

Undoubtedly, Realmuto was a prize target last off-season, and a position player in an area of extreme weakness for LA after letting Yasmani Grandal walk away. At the time the 40-man roster was Austin Barnes, Rocky Gale, and some rookies making waves behind them, but not quite ready for prime time.

The Asking Price

Now, Miami at the time likely could have pried away one of Will Smith or Keibert Ruiz along with perhaps a Joc Pederson and MiLB arm, but instead they attempted to win big immediately.

The rumored request was “starting at somebody like a Cody Bellinger.”

It would take one of those guys (Puig, Verdugo) and Bellinger.

This, of course, was before the infamous Kyle Farmer trade that netted the Dodgers two current top prospects.

After Realmuto was traded to Philadelphia essentially for scrap metal, more reports on Miami’s asking price for Los Angeles came out.

It was Bellinger and Verdugo or Puig, plus top prospects; or 3 of the Dodgers top 5 prospects at the time.

Realmuto has had a fine year in 2019, with 15 home runs, 57 RBI, and a .272 batting average to go along with exceptional defense. At the same time, Cody Bellinger has slugged his way to the top of NL MVP conversations, and Will Smith is now homering every 9.5 at-bats in the big leagues (small sample size).

Moreover, Dustin May is being primed for a postseason rotation spot, and Gavin Lux is hitting beach balls in Triple-A.

As the Dodgers find themselves going to Miami with Belli and the Fresh Prince in tow, they do so as the true winners of the JT Realmuto sweepstakes.

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.


Leave a Reply
  1. You wanna intentionally try to rip us off you end up with the Phillies garbage package. lol way to go Jeter

  2. That’s one thing I’ll never understand…. Teams always want the dodgers top prospects and when the dodgers say no, they end up with a poor return, when in fact, the “mid-level” prospects that the dodgers countered with are better than the return they ended up with.

  3. Jeter was looking for a home run when a sacrifice fly would have done the job. So he ended up foul tipping strike three into the catcher’s mitt.

    • Pretty much sums it up for sure.Marlins were not going to be very competitive in their division anyway. It kind of reminds me of the Pirate’s demands for Vasquez from us, even though Vasquez was of little to no use for that team this year or even next far as where they are in the NL Central. Pirates could have realized a great haul even without getting Lux or May. Pirates say they want him there to close out games in the near future when they are competitive again (for a PS run) but that appears to be quite a while from now at the least.

  4. Somebody wise once said “Sometimes the best trades you make are the ones you didn’t.” I think it’s clear by now that Jeter has no business running a team and, instead of hiring somebody smart to run the team, he’s reading too many articles criticizing his moves. So, he overreacts to his initial bouts of trade stupidity, only to have it lead still more stupidity.

    Memo to the Guggenheim group: give Friedman *whatever* he wants when his contract is up. The team keeps getting better and the farm system keeps producing, this when they will never draft high up because the Dodgers don’t tank –and will seemingly make the playoffs every year for the next decade. He’s traded second-tier prospects for Hill, Darvish and Machado, but he also knows he’s building a team for the future and holds onto the super-prospects.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *