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Dodgers, Padres, Reds still involved in J.T. Realmuto trade talks

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Fancred’s Jon Heyman reports that the Dodgers and Padres have been “at the forefront” of trade talks involving Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto in recent days. A third team, the Reds, have also gotten involved. SiriusXM’s Craig Mish adds that the Padres are “making a late charge” for Realmuto and the Braves are also on the periphery. In Mish’s words, “The final chapter of the saga is upon us.”

After free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, Realmuto was arguably the most prized player who was expected to change teams this offseason. Thus far, nothing has happened, but the expectation is still that he will be wearing a new uniform at the start of spring training.

Realmuto, 27, made his first All-Star team last season, finishing the year batting .277/.340/.484 with 21 home runs, 74 RBI, and 74 runs scored in 531 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs’ version of WAR, no catcher (min. 1,000 PA) has been more valuable over the last three years. Realmuto leads at 12.3 followed by Buster Posey (10.0) and Yasmani Grandal (9.0). The team that ultimately lands Realmuto will certainly be making a significant upgrade behind the plate.

Ronald Acuña Jr. reaches a rare home run milestone

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Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. hit his 40th home run in today’s 5-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. In so doing he become only the third player to hit 40 homers at age 21 or younger, joining Hall of Famers Mel Ott and Eddie Matthews, who hit 42 and 47, respectively, before turning 22. Ott was only 20 in fact.

Home run marks are a dime a dozen this year, of course, so maybe you want to discount Acuña’s accomplishment. Even if you do, though, you can’t discount his wheels. He didn’t have a stolen base this afternoon but he does have 37 on the year and has over a week to swipe three more. If he does he’ll become a member of the exclusive 40/40 club. It’s only current members: Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Alfonso Soriano.

The Braves win clinches at least a tie for the NL East title. They’ll clinch the division outright if either they win or the Nationals lose tomorrow.