The Braves are reportedly putting the kibosh on a trade for Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, per the latest from MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. Bowman says that the club hasn’t engaged in further talks with the Marlins for the last five days and doesn’t appear to have any plans to resume discussions, either.
While the Braves aren’t starved for catching depth, Realmuto would have rounded out a trio that already includes sub-.200 hitters Tyler Flowers and Brian McCann. The 27-year-old backstop, meanwhile, is coming off of a career year with the Marlins, during which he earned his first All-Star nomination and Silver Slugger award after slashing a healthy .277/.340/.484 with 21 home runs, an .825 OPS and 4.8 fWAR through 531 plate appearances.
The Braves’ apparent lack of interest shouldn’t have a negative impact on Realmuto’s market, however, as they were just one of six teams rumored to approach the Marlins with an offer. The Reds, Rays, Mets, Padres and Dodgers are all still in on the slugger, whose current contract places him under team control through 2020 and for whom a hefty return would be expected. So far, a frontrunner has yet to emerge in trade talks.
Bobby Jenks was a key part of the 2005 world champion White Sox. By 2010, his effectiveness as a closer fell off and he signed with the Boston Red Sox for the 2011 season. He’d pitch in only 19 games that year, suffer a back injury and would never pitch again.
In the year or so after that, we heard that Jenks was arrested for driving under the influence. And then we heard that his back surgery was botched, and his baseball career was over. Then, after years of silence, we learned last spring that Jenks won $5.1 million in a medical malpractice suit against the doctor who performed his surgery.
We did not, however, know all the details until Bobby Jenks wrote about them at the Players’ Tribune this morning. This is must-click link stuff, folks.
Jenks talks about how a seemingly innocuous pitch to Jorge Posada in an early-season Red Sox-Yankees game in 2011 was the last pitch he’d ever throw. He talks about the presumably simple surgery that would supposedly get him back on the field. And then the scary complications in which he almost died due to leaking spinal fluid resulting from the botched surgery. Then, after using painkillers to deal with back pain, Jenks’ fell into drug addiction, all of which culminated in him finding himself half-naked and crazed in a car that didn’t belong to him with police and rescue workers surrounding him.
Jenks got clean but his wife left him. And then he mounted a multi-year lawsuit during which he learned that the reason his back surgery was screwed up was because the surgeon was performing two surgeries at one time, which is an apparently common practice called “concurrent surgery,” that sounds like it totally should NOT be a common practice.
Yet Jenks has survived. He’s been sober for over seven years and he seems to be in a good place. But boy did he have to go through something harrowing to get there. Definitely take the time to read it.