Milwaukee Brewers: What’s the latest on catcher J.T. Realmuto?

The Milwaukee Brewers are still linked to Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, and he still hasn’t moved on. Has there been any movement in his trade market?

In an effort to keep catcher J.T. Realmuto, the Miami Marlins offered a pair of extensions that were turned down.

His agent, Jeff Barry, stated in October that he expects his client to get traded this off season. The Milwaukee Brewers and Houston Astros are the two teams that continue to be linked to Realmuto and have the necessary prospects to swing a deal.

What do the turned down extensions mean?

They mean that the Miami Marlins only have two years of team control before Realmuto can become a free agent. This also means that the team that acquires him only has two years of team control before he’ll become eligible to move on. It’s unclear if he’ll sign an extension after a trade. He’ll only be in his age-30 season in two years.

What does the trade market look like?

The Milwaukee Brewers and Houston Astros are the only teams that have had reported links to Realmuto, and have a deep enough farm system to swing a deal. The Chicago Cubs were recently linked to Realmuto, but it’s hard to find a trade package that doesn’t include multiple names off their 25-man roster, and that’s unlikely to be enough.

Have the trade demands changed?

No. It’s clear that the Miami Marlins are going to hold the league up for ransom if they decide to move on from the Realmuto saga.

However, if they want to maximize value, they need to make a move this off season. Waiting until next year means that Realmuto will only come with one season of team control left, and that year will likely come with a salary close to $10 million. One year of team control won’t get near the return that two years will.

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The Milwaukee Brewers would likely start with a package built around Keston Hiura, Brandon Woodruff, and Domingo Santana, and they’d probably have to include more. Realmuto is clearly the best option available at catcher this off season, but he’s also going to come with an astronomical cost. There’s a non-zero chance that the package that brought Christian Yelich to the Brewers will look like a bargain in comparison. However, Realmuto could end up as one of the missing pieces to a championship roster.