Catcher J.T. Realmuto no longer wants to play for the Miami Marlins. We learned as much through his agent, Jeff Berry, last week.
“J.T. has informed the Marlins’ ownership, he’s informed their front office, he’s not going to sign an extension in Miami,” Berry told MLB Network Radio (via ESPN).
And we cannot blame him. After all, the Marlins are not trying to win in the slightest. Remember that outfield of Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna? Well they would trade them all during the same offseason. After winning the NL MVP award, Stanton went to the New York Yankees. Yelich went to the Milwaukee Brewers, and might be about to wrap up NL MVP honors himself. Ozuna just put together another solid season, this time for the Cardinals.
But the Marlins aren’t eager to let Realmuto go. And we don’t blame them. After all, he’s one of the only actual baseball players on their team. They won just 63 games this past season. If they trade him, they’ll be lucky to win 60 in 2019.
“Agents can say whatever they want to say,” Marlins President Michael Hill told Steven Wine of The Associated Press. “J.T. knows how we feel about him. … J.T. is obviously a very talented player. I would expect there will be interest in a lot of our talented players. It’s our job to go there with an open mind of how we improve.”
Trading Realmuto probably isn’t the way to improve. But at this point, they have two more years of team control with him. That means if teams to have interest — and plenty of them will — the offers will have to be steep. Last season, the 27-year-old Realmuto put up the best numbers of his career at the plate. He hit .277/.340/.484 (.824 OPS) with 30 doubles and a career-high in home runs (21). He also threw out a career-high 38% of would-be base-stealers. The league average was 28%.
Time will tell if the Marlins actually intend on keeping talented players around.