It turns out that the Marlins were Real(muto) crazy.
Jon Heyman is reporting that the Marlins asked for 3 of the Dodgers top 5 prospects in discussions for J.T. Realmuto before sending him to Philadelphia.
One clarification regarding Realmuto talks: while Marlins sought two key pieces to headline the package for JT, once the dodgers declined to include Bellinger, Miami wanted 3 big prospects from LA, not just 2 since they were all minor leaguers: Lux plus May plus 1 of Ruiz/Smith
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 11, 2019
After their demand for Cody Bellinger was not met, the Marlins reportedly asked for Gavin Lux, Dustin May, and one of the two top catchers, Keibert Ruiz or Will Smith. The Dodgers rightfully declined to meet the Marlins insane asking price. Realmuto has 2 years of team control left on his deal, and while he is a very good player, he isn’t a superstar that warrants that kind of prospect return.
The Marlins settled for a lesser package from the Phillies, mainly because Jorge Alfaro has major league experience. Why a rebuilding team cared about a player having major league experience instead of just taking the better players is a question for Derek Jeter and the Marlins’ front office. In reality, he’s just going to reach free agency sooner and it’s never a good idea to pass on acquiring the more talented player.
While Realmuto would have been a fantastic addition to the Dodgers’ offense, the cost to acquire him was far too great to make a deal worth it. There were also always questions if Friedman would even acquire a catcher with poor framing abilities.
With Smith close to making his debut and Ruiz right behind him, the Dodgers will be fine with a platoon of Austin Barnes and Russell Martin for a few months. There is hope that Barnes can get closer to his 2017 numbers when he was a top 10 catcher in baseball after reworking his swing this offseason.
Worst case scenario, the Dodgers can always circle back to Francisco Cervelli to acquire an offense-first catcher, with numbers comparable to Realmuto, at a much cheaper cost.
With an off-season filled with Realmuto rumors, hopefully this is the last we hear about them for a while.