Now that the Padres have Yonder Alonso in the fold, they have one-too-many first base prospects about whose future I’m dubious. Probably need to trade one. There have been some alleged talks with the Cubs — alleged because Jed Hoyer has shot them down as fiction — but now we have a report that the Tampa Bay Rays have come a-knockin’.
And why not? My dubiousness notwithstanding, young, cheap and promising is pretty much the prototypical Rays player. Rizzo hit .296/.366/.514 in 1629 minor league plate appearances, so his poor major league showing thus far is not yet too big a concern. Certainly worth a shot on a team that doesn’t hesitate to play kids.
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.