Just a few days ago, it look as though the Dodgers and Padres were taking the lead on trade talks for Marlins All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto, with the Reds, Braves, and Rays on the periphery. While the California-based teams may still be leading discussions behind the scenes, MLB Pipeline’s Jonathan Mayo reported Saturday that the Reds have recently discussed a package that includes infield prospect Jonathan India, catcher Tucker Barnhart, and an unknown third player.
India profiled as the Reds’ no. 4 prospect (and no. 53 in the league) when MLB.com unveiled their 2019 prospect lists last month. Mayo adds that the Reds haven’t been actively shopping the 22-year-old shortstop/third baseman throughout the offseason, but as they’re unwilling to move their top three — infielder Nick Senzel, outfielder Taylor Trammell, and versatile right-hander Hunter Greene — India is the next logical choice in any prospect-based deal. The third baseman played his first season of pro ball in 2018, slashing a combined .240/.380/.433 with six home runs, six stolen bases (in seven chances), and an .814 OPS across 184 plate appearances for the Reds’ rookie-level and Single-A affiliates.
Barnhart, on the other hand, has several years of major-league experience under his belt. He rounded out his fifth season with the Reds in 2018, batting a decent, if underwhelming .248/.328/.372 with a career-high 10 home runs and 1.1 fWAR through 522 PA. His offensive numbers don’t rival those put up by Realmuto over the last several seasons, but he’s a solid defender behind the dish and should give the Marlins a serviceable and affordable replacement as they look to offload their top player.
While other existing offers have yet to be publicized, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro notes that the Dodgers, Padres, Braves, and Rays are all thought to still be active in talks for Realmuto. No one team appears to be the favorite at the moment, though that could quickly change as the 2019 season approaches.
The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.
Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:
I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.
In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.
“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”
Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.
For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.