Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco returns from disabled list

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Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco has been activated from the disabled list after being sidelined since the middle of spring training with an oblique injury.

Cincinnati traded Ryan Hanigan to the Rays this winter in large part because they wanted to clear the path for Mesoraco to take over as the starting catcher at age 25. Brayan Pena started four of the six games in his absence and fill-in backup Tucker Barnhart–great baseball name!–is heading back to Triple-A after starting twice.

This is a big season for Mesoraco. He was once a first-round pick and top prospect, but now he’s 25 years old and has hit just .225 with a .641 OPS through 175 career games.

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.