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.