Six weeks after multiple media outlets including The Miami Herald reported Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto’s preference to go to another team, his agent confirmed for the first time on Friday evening that the catcher would like to be traded - and that losing his arbitration hearing earlier in the day has nothing to do with that.
“No matter how his arbitration hearing turned out, J.T.’s preference remains the same,” agent Jeff Berry, co-head of CAA baseball, said in his first public comments on Realmuto this offseason. “He would like to be traded to another organization before spring training so he has an opportunity to compete for a championship.”
The Marlins previously granted Christian Yelich’s trade request two weeks after his agent, Joe Longo, expressed his client’s interest in being traded.
Realmuto lost his arbitration hearing earlier Friday and will make $2.9 million, not the $3.5 million he requested.
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The Marlins have been considering offers for Realmuto but have been holding out for multiple high-end prospects.
After trading Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins CEO and co-owner Derek Jeter said: “Understand, you don't want to have someone that does not want to be part of the organization.”
That sentiment could help Realmuto get his wish.
Realmuto, 26 and under team control through 2020, is considered among the game’s best young catchers.
He hit .278, with 17 homers, 65 RBI and eight steals in 10 attempts in 141 games last season and his .994 fielding percentage ranked fifth among National League catchers.
MLB.com reported 12 teams have called about Realmuto, with Washington reportedly among the most serious suitors.
And Fanrag’s Jon Heyman reported that while the Nationals are “believed unwilling to part with either of its top two outfield prospects, Victor Robles or Juan Soto,... the Nats have some other young players and prospects who could form a deal for Realmuto, and six they are believed willing to consider are young outfielder Michael Taylor, shortstop Carter Kieboom, pitchers Erick Fedde and Seth Romero, and catchers Pedro Severino and Raudy Read.”
Here’s Clark Spencer’s story on how Justin Bour’s arbitration hearing turned out.
Here’s my in-depth post today on what evalautors have to say about every pitcher acquired by the Marlins this offseason.