Rangers add Hall to catching corps

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It sounded like the Rangers wanted a legitimate alternative starting catcher because of the lingering questions about the health of Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s shoulder. Instead, what they ended up with on Friday was Toby Hall.
Hall seemed to pretty much wreck his career when he opted to play through a torn labrum in 2007. He hit an abysmal .207/.225/.241 in 116 at-bats as A.J. Pierzynski’s backup for the White Sox that season. Still on a guaranteed contract, he followed it up by hitting .260/.304/.331 in 2008. He finally underwent the labrum surgery last February and spent the 2009 season rehabbing.
Hall was known far more for his offense than his defense as a prospect when he was coming up with the Rays. However, he never did meet expectations with the bat, and now that his shoulder isn’t what it used to be, he doesn’t belong in the majors at all. The Rangers should still be looking at a Salty-Taylor Teagarden duo for 2010.

Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto reportedly asks to be traded

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Craig Mish of MLB Network Radio is reporting that Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto has requested a trade out of Miami. Jon Heyman is characterizing it as Realmuto telling the team that he “wouldn’t mind” a trade.

Either way, Realmuto has no power to force a trade. This isn’t the NBA or something. Still, it’s evidence of just how dreary a prospect remaining in Miami is for Marlins veterans in the wake of trades that sent Giancarlo Stanton to New York, Marcell Ozuna to St. Louis.

Realmuto, who will turn 27 just before the 2018 season, hit .278/.332/.451 with 17 homers, 65 RBI, and eight steals over 141 games this past season. He only has three years of service time and is arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason. He made just $562K in the 2017 and will get a big raise this year, but he’s still going to be underpaid based on his production. If the Marlins wanted to trade him, they’d get a nice return. Why they would want to trade him, I have no idea.

Expect more of this sort of thing as the Marlins slash payroll and make it clear that their immediate priorities are more about saving money and less about winning baseball games. Which may or may not be a valid goal for the team’s new owners, but is certainly a letdown for baseball players and fans.