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.
Rays outfielder Austin Meadows has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a right thumb sprain, per a team announcement Sunday. No concrete timetable has been given for his return to the lineup just yet, but he’s scheduled to meet with a hand specialist on Sunday as the Rays try to determine the extent of his injury.
Meadows, 23, suffered the sprain in the seventh inning of Saturday’s 6-5 loss to the Red Sox. He lined a two-run triple into the right-center field gap — one of a franchise-record four triples that the Rays recorded in the game — but slid awkwardly into third base and jammed his right thumb in the process. He didn’t appear to be in obvious pain following the hit, however, nor was he removed from the game at the time.
Prior to the setback, Meadows carried a hefty .351/.422/.676 batting line with six homers, 19 RBI, and a 1.097 OPS through his first 83 plate appearances of 2019. He was replaced by Guillermo Heredia in right field for Sunday’s series finale and will likely lose a few starts to Avisaíl García as well.
In a series of corresponding moves, right-handed reliever Jake Faria was optioned to Triple-A Durham, infielder/outfielder Andrew Velazquez and righty reliever Emilio Pagán were recalled from Triple-A, and reliever Hunter Wood was placed on the paternity list. Second baseman Joey Wendle was also reinstated from the 10-day injured list after rehabbing a left hamstring strain and is scheduled take over the keystone during the Rays’ matinee against the Red Sox on Sunday.