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.