Let’s begin the J.T. Realmuto rumors to the Astros thanks to Craig Mish.
It’s been a relatively quiet couple of weeks on the Astros trade rumors front. It appeared that the roster was set ready for spring training, with maybe a minor addition between now and the season. One goal that the Astros have not addressed was the long-term option at catcher.
It’s hard to convince a free agent catcher to come here with Brian McCann on the books for at least 2018, with a vesting option for 2019. This is McCann’s team, but the team could still look for the future backstop. It appears that Max Stassi is not the option and some are not as high on Garrett Stubbs.
The Marlins catcher stuck in a fire sale.
There was some belief that J.T. Realmuto was a possible target for the Astros at some point this offseason. On Talking Stros, I felt that any trade for Realmuto would come closer to the trade deadline. At that time, the Astros would have a better feel on the catching situation. Is McCann hitting at that point?
If the answer is no, then the need for a catcher would justify the need for a trade. According to Craig Mish, who has been right with the Astros rumors in the past, they are interested in Realmuto. Mish says the Astros have engaged talks with the Marlins for Realmuto.
It would appear that the Astros are aware that it would require stud prospect Kyle Tucker to get the deal done. According to Mish, the Astros are considering it. Mish says that it is down to Houston and the Nationals for a Realmuto trade. This is interesting since we haven’t heard too much a buzz into Realmuto to Houston rumors.
Yes, Tucker is a steep price for a catcher.
However, Realmuto is a proven catcher who is still 26-years-old. He will be under team control for at the next three seasons before he hits free agency. The Astros could also try to work out an extension as part of the trade. Realmuto is a career .280 hitter and has hit 10, 11, and 17 homers over the past three seasons.
Realmuto is also averaging about ten steals a season in his full seasons. According to MLB.com, Realmuto is the fastest catcher at 28.7 feet per second. His athleticism stems from his days as a shortstop. Realmuto is not known as a great framer, but his pop time (1.89 seconds) is great. Apparently, that means that he is really quick at receiving the ball and getting it to an infielder.
Later Mish mentioned that his report was from the Marlins side. Someone pointed out that the information could be inaccurate on the Houston side, but Mish sticks to what he stated.
Realmuto would be the answer at catcher for the Astros, but would also further deplete the farm systems. If the trade is made, it would be interesting to see what happens with playing time with McCann. Realmuto would be the starter, but how many times would McCann catch?
To close out this post, it would take possibly 1-2 more players to intrigue the Marlins who must win a trade. Is it a crazy idea? No, because you are capitalizing on the window to win now. As long as they hold onto Forrest Whitley, then they should still be good for the future. Mish says both is not an option.
Mish says that there is a 50% chance a trade happens before the start of the season. I still think they wait till the trade deadline, but we will see.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference and MLB.com***