Yes, I know, more J. T. Realmuto rumors. But the latest scuttlebutt has the Houston Astros as one of six teams still in talks with the Marlins.
The J. T. Realmuto conversations are heating up with the recent signings of Yasmani Grandal, Wilson Ramos and Jonathan Lucroy. According to Joe Frisario of MLB.com the Astros are “back in the mix” as one of the teams in talks with the Miami Marlins for Realmuto.
The Marlins are apparently still seeking a top prospect and probably a catcher with some big league experience in the exchange. With the recent acquisition of Scott Manea in the five player deal with the Mets, the Astros now have more depth at the catcher position. Jeff Luhnow said himself that Manea was a key part of that deal and felt that he would be ready for the majors soon.
Max Stassi could be the possible trading chip as that catcher the Marlins are seeking. Robinson Chirinos could be used to back up Realmuto while Manea works his way up the system. Stassi has been up and down within the Astros’ system and has big league experience. He has shown some flashes of success, but has been somewhat inconsistent.
It would then come down to which “top prospect” would the Marlins be willing to accept, and in turn, who would the Astros be willing to give up. Kyle Tucker is the name that seems to resurface with every rumor. Houston currently has eight outfielders on their active roster and other prospects like Yordan Alvarez waiting in the wings.
With Michael Brantley joining Josh Reddick and George Springer in the outfield, how much playing time would Tucker really receive. Don’t forget there is still Tony Kemp, Jake Marisnick and Myles Straw that will be battling for playing time.
Is Jeff Luhnow really satisfied with Chirinos and Stassi as their backstop team? Wouldn’t Realmuto be major upgrade? Maybe it’s time for that big offseason move everyone has been waiting for. Maybe the trade for Manea was just a prelude to something bigger. Maybe, just maybe, the Astros can afford to give up Tucker for Realmuto after all.