The Houston Astros have gotten back into negotiations with the Miami Marlins about a possible deal for catcher J. T. Realmuto.
According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Astros are “back in the mix” in trade talks for J. T. Realmuto. The Marlins have stayed the course with keeping Kyle Tucker as their main target in a deal with Houston. That may now be an option, with the acquisition of Michael Brantley.
Michael Brantley has completed his physical and the announcement from the Astros is all that remains to make it official. Once the deal is on the books, the Astros will have eight outfielders on their active roster. What does this say for the futures of Tucker, Josh Reddick or Tony Kemp? Just a short time ago, Tucker was deemed untouchable in any trade talks surrounding Realmuto, or anyone else for that matter. This may no longer be a roadblock.
There are several teams still showing interest in Realmuto, including the Dodgers, Rays and the Padres. A couple of teams have apparently backed off in their talks with Miami, narrowing the field. The Atlanta Braves interest has ebbed and the Mets recently signed Wilson Ramos, taking them out of the picture.
Adding Realmuto and the recently signed Brantley would potentially give Houston one of the most potent lineups for any pitcher to face. Realmuto’s numbers speak for themselves. The 27-year-old has a career slash line of .279/.327/.442 and is averaging 18 HRs and 70+ RBIs and runs scored per season. Most recently in 2018, Realmuto had a league leading 4.8 fWAR and was 2nd in the league with a wRC+ of 126.
Jeff Luhnow has stated he is comfortable going into the season with Max Stassi and Robinson Chirinos as the Astros catchers, but that the door is still open for another catcher. Keeping three catchers on the roster is doubtful, making one of the current catchers as secondary trade bait for Realmuto a feasibility. Whether Luhnow is willing to pull the trigger is yet to be seen. But just imagine the Astros’ lineup, from 1-9, if he does!