Marlins Keep Eye Toward Future in Realmuto Deal

Marlins Demanding Prospect From Phillies In J.T. Realmuto Trade

The reason for that is that the Marlins asking price has been extremely high, mainly because they are unhappy with the returns they got for the other stars they traded a year ago like Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna. They led their division with the second-best record in the NL one week into August, then went 16-33 over the final 49 games and finished with a losing record (80-82) for the sixth straight season.

Pitcher Sixto Sanchez, catcher Jorge Alfaro and left-hander Will Stewart will be heading to Miami along with worldwide slot money.

There were several teams in the mix for Realmuto, and the Marlins waited for a package they were happy with before pulling the trigger on a trade. "If that's what he does in our uniform, that's still the best catcher in baseball, but I'd be lying if I told you we didn't think there was some chance playing half his games in Citizens Bank Park wouldn't make him better". It was the best year yet for a player who has been one of the better hitting backstops in the league for the past three seasons. From the Yankees, both catcher Gary Sánchez and third baseman Miguel Andújar in a bigger deal that might have included infielder Miguel Rojas and potentially another piece along with Realmuto if the talks had gained traction.

Sanchez, a hard-throwing 20-year-old Dominican right-hander is considered a top prospect.

Sanchez managed to pitch just 46 2/3 innings last season due to right elbow inflammation.

"In Sanchez we saw a front-of-the-rotation starter", Hill said.

Hill said Sanchez would start out at Double A Jacksonville while Stewart will begin at Single A Jupiter.

That set up the firestorm of rumors that became this offseason in Miami around the 28-year-old catcher coming off a career year where he hit.277/.340/.484 with 21 home runs, making his first All-Star team.

Klentak said he first inquired about Realmuto last summer and again early in the offseason.

"We have heard outstanding things about J.T. and his work ethic and his makeup and his leadership and the type of teammate he is", Klentak said.

Realmuto is under contract for $6 million for 2019 and has another year of arbitration that will likely end up in the $10-15 million range.

The Phillies remain confident that they will land one of the big free agents this season and they made their intent clear about being ready to spend "stupid" money when they met the Marlins' demands when so many other teams were unwilling. The team added both Neil Walker and Curtis Granderson recently in low cost/high reward deals that could pan out and help this team win more than 63 games as it did previous year. They haven't had a winning season since 2009 and haven't been to the playoffs since winning the World Series in 2003.

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