J.T. Realmuto
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We may actually see a J.T. Realmuto trade soon

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The longest-running rumor of the offseason has been about the Marlins wanting to trade catcher J.T. Realmuto. Heck, it’s been longer than the offseason. That chatter started early last year. For all the chatter, though, there has been nothing really close to actual movement on that front. Once or twice a week we hear something about vague discussions, but that’s mostly it.

Maybe that changes today.

Jon Morosi of MLB.com reported this morning that a potential trade of J.T. Realmuto to the Phillies is “gaining momentum.” Meanwhile, Craig Mish of Sirius/XM tweeted a little while ago that there is “finally some legit progress on a Realmuto deal,” and said that he is expecting Realmuto to be traded today.

To where? Maybe, like Morosi said, the Phillies, who are known to be talking. Yesterday we heard that the Marlins wanted top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez included in a Realmuto deal. That seems like a super high price to pay and I question whether Philly would do that, but I suppose we’ll see. The Braves, Padres, Dodgers and Reds have all been rumored to be in on Realmuto as well.

Realmuto hit .277/.340/.484 with 21 home runs and 74 RBI over 125 games last season and plays solid defense. He is under contractual control through 2020. In an era where good catchers are astonishingly hard to find, that all makes him the best in the game, more or less.

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.

Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.

Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.

The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.