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.

Padres fire Andy Green

Andy Green
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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.