In Milwaukee Brewers rumors, there is reportedly interest on the Brewers part of trying to acquire catcher JT Realmuto from the Marlins.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post recently wrote about the possibility of the top trade targets on the market actually getting traded. And in that article, he dropped a nugget that the Milwaukee Brewers were among the teams with interest in acquiring JT Realmuto.
While we’ve written about possibly acquiring Realmuto before, that was pure speculation, this is now a legitimate rumor.
How Serious Is The Interest?
Likely preliminary. While the Milwaukee Brewers could stand to upgrade their catching position offensively, the cost to acquire Realmuto is extremely high. Brewers fans can wave top prospect Keston Hiura goodbye if the team were to acquire Realmuto.
The Marlins are asking for a massive overpay for Realmuto because, ironically enough, they didn’t get enough back in the Christian Yelich deal. The underwhelming return for Yelich along with the poor returns for Marcell Ozuna, Giancarlo Stanton, and Dee Gordon have forced the Marlins to up their price in order to restock their organization.
Brewers GM David Stearns recently tempered expectations of a big splash this offseason and, make no mistake, acquiring Realmuto would be a big splash.
For right now, the interest likely isn’t very serious because of that high acquisition cost and the fact that the Brewers farm system isn’t as deep as it used to be, again because of that Yelich trade.
Why Is The Asking Price So High?
JT Realmuto is an offensive catcher in his prime with two cheap years of team control left. Nearly every team in baseball would love to have him on their team.
Last year, Realmuto hit .277/.340/.484 with 21 homers, 74 RBIs, and a 131 OPS+. He’s one of, if not the top hitting catcher in the league.
He also threw out baserunners at a 38% clip and had four successful pickoffs, making him a strong asset defensively as well.
The Marlins are right to have a high asking price, but what they want right now is too ridiculous of a price. They’re going to need to come down if they expect any team to be their trade partner.
Who Else Has Interest In Realmuto?
According to Sherman, the Brewers, Astros, Phillies, Nationals, and others all have interest in Realmuto. He also names the Braves as an option, but with their recent signing of Brian McCann, that likely takes them out of the Realmuto sweepstakes.
The Phillies and Nationals are also in the same division as the Marlins, which could complicate trade talks.
What Are The Chances He Gets Traded?
Sherman asked executives around the league and characterized it as a 35% chance Realmuto gets traded this offseason.
As far the chances he gets traded to Milwaukee, it’s way less than that. My estimate would put the odds at 5% or less. Acquiring Realmuto would cripple the farm system and severely damage Stearns’ plan to keep the Brewers as a perennial contender instead of one that goes through rebuilds every 5-7 years.
While adding a bat like Realmuto’s would be nice, the high acquisition cost is likely going to prevent the Brewers from completing a deal.
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There aren’t many quality offensive catchers in the league nowadays. That places a higher premium on Realmuto’s talent than other positions.