J.T. Realmuto
Getty Images

Padres, Dodgers may have taken lead on J.T. Realmuto talks

8 Comments

As many as six teams have been linked to Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto over the last month or so, but his most ardent suitors appear to be the Dodgers and Marlins, per recent reports from MLB Network’s Jon Morosi and Fancred’s Jon Heyman. Morosi adds that the Padres’ interest is conditioned on the opportunity to negotiate a contract extension with the All-Star backstop.

Realmuto, 27, finished off a five-year run with the Marlins in 2018. He earned his first All-Star designation after an explosive first half and batted .277/.340/.484 with a career-best 21 home runs, an .825 OPS, and 4.8 fWAR by season’s end. He’s set to remain under team control through 2020, a plus for any team who, like the Padres, isn’t exactly verging on playoff contention this year. Given Realmuto’s undeniable talent and the high level of interest he’s attracted around the league, Miami can expect some top-tier talent in exchange for the slugger, though it’s not yet clear what the Dodgers or Padres are willing to give up.

Should Realmuto strike a deal in San Diego, he’ll headline an impressive array of catching depth. Defensive wizard Austin Hedges is still the Padres’ projected 2019 starter behind the dish, even if he carried a .231 average and 14 homers to Realmuto’s .277 average and 21 homers in 2018, and has the skill and durability to stick behind the plate for the majority of the season, too. Behind Hedges, 23-year-old rookie Francisco Mejia is also primed to make a difference for the team after last year’s breakout in Triple-A.

For now, however, the Dodgers and Padres are still looking at some competition for the catcher’s services. According to the latest from Heyman, the Reds, Braves, and Astros are numbered among those who have expressed interest so far.

Lucas Giolito earns second shutout of season

Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Twins have arguably baseball’s scariest offense. Their average of 5.87 runs per game is second only to the Yankees (5.90) while leading the league in slugging percentage (.501), OPS (.840), and home runs (244). White Sox starter Lucas Giolito made their offense look impotent on Wednesday, blanking them over nine innings for his second shutout of the season. The White Sox won 4-0.

Giolito allowed just three hits and walked none while fanning 12 batters over his nine innings of work. He’s now 14-6 with a 3.20 ERA and a 194/51 K/BB ratio in 151 2/3 innings on the season. Giolito is very much in the AL Cy Young Award picture. The Astros’ Justin Verlander leads the league in ERA at 2.81. A strong finish to the season for Giolito could certainly see his ERA dip below 3.00.

As mentioned, Wednesday’s shutout was Giolito’s second of the season. He and the Indians’ Shane Bieber are the only pitchers with multiple shutouts this season. They are two of only 21 pitchers with a shutout.