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Agent Jeff Berry expects J.T. Realmuto to be traded by spring training

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Per Jon Morosi, CAA Baseball agent Jeff Berry said on Tuesday during an interview with MLB Network Radio that he expects his client J.T. Realmuto to be traded by the Marlins before the start of spring training. Berry also said the catcher won’t sign an extension with the Marlins.

Realmuto, 27, is coming off an All-Star season in which he hit .277/.340/.484 with 21 home runs, 74 RBI, and 74 runs scored in 531 plate appearances. By FanGraphs’ version of WAR, Realmuto was the best catcher in baseball in 2018, as his 4.8 WAR greatly outpaced second-place Yasmani Grandal‘s 3.6.

Realmuto is entering his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. While the Marlins don’t have to trade Realmuto this winter, his trade value will decrease the closer he gets to free agency. Furthermore, the club also risks Realmuto getting injured or having a terrible season, which would tank his trade value.

In the run up to the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31, the Nationals reportedly had the most interest in Realmuto, so they could be a potential landing spot for him this winter.

Report: Yankees could be in on Nolan Arenado

Nolan Arenado
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The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.

The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.

Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.