Ramon Hernandez probably isn’t very happy with his agent right now.
Yesterday he re-signed with the Reds for one year and $3 million, but now John Buck has reportedly agreed to a three-year, $18 million deal with the Marlins.
Buck parlayed a career-year into $18 million, yet his career-year really wasn’t better than Hernandez’s performance this season. Buck hit .281 with an .802 OPS in 113 games and threw out 28 percent of steal attempts. Hernandez hit .297 with a .792 OPS in 97 games and threw out 34 percent of steal attempts.
And while Buck is four years younger, he’s hardly a good choice for a three-year contract and Hernandez’s pre-2010 track record is vastly superior. Obviously it would have been tough to predict that the Marlins would decide to overpay for a mediocre catcher coming off a career-year, but if the catching market yields an $18 million deal for Buck it sure seems like Hernandez should have done better than $3 million.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Marlins, Mets, and Yankees have had discussions about a three-team trade in which Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto would go to the Mets. It’s not known which other players were discussed in the deal, but Rosenthal notes that the Mets wouldn’t be willing to part with Noah Syndergaard if they are only getting Realmuto in return.
Realmuto, 27, was the best offensive catcher in baseball in 2018, batting .277/.340/.484 with 21 home runs and 74 RBI in 531 plate appearances. He has two more years of team control remaining until he becomes eligible for free agency, adding to his value.
The Mets’ catching corps currently includes Kevin Plawecki and Travis d'Arnaud, so Realmuto would be a significant upgrade. Such a trade would be the club’s second big splash of the offseason as the Mets finalized a trade to acquire second baseman Robinson Canó and closer Edwin Díaz from the Mariners earlier this month.
Interestingly, the Mets and Yankees haven’t made a deal involving major league players since December 2004, when the two sides swapped pitchers Mike Stanton and Félix Heredia, Rosenthal points out.