Teams Will Be Lining Up to Trade for J.T. Realmuto
Already this offseason, Derek Jeter and the Miami Marlins have traded away Giancarlo Stanton, Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna as the team engages in a full-on teardown of the roster. Another long rebuilding process is underway, one that could take years to complete.
As a result, one of the best young catchers in the game wants out.
J.T. Realmuto has requested a trade from the Marlins and, if the team decides to move him, he'll be one of the most sought after players on the market. As of this writing, the Marlins say they're not interested in moving him, but given his age (26) and productivity, he would bring back a haul of prospects to Miami if they change their minds.
In his three full seasons as the Marlins' catcher, Realmuto has gotten better every single year. The table below will look at walk rate (BB%), on-base percentage (OBP), slugging percentage (SLG), weighted runs created plus (wRC+) and Fangraphs' wins above replacement (fWAR) -- in addition to some more basic stats.
Last season, Realmuto sacrificed a bit of average and on-base for power, much like many MLB hitters, and the result was a career high in homers (17) and slugging percentage (.451). His fWAR also went up a notch, driven by his outstanding defense, and he's one of the more athletic catchers in the game, totaling 28 stolen bases over the last three seasons.
Much of Realmuto's value comes defensively as he ranked sixth in Baseball Prospectus' Fielding Runs Above Average metric. He improved as a pitch framer last year after two below average seasons, and he also threw out 33.7% of attempted base stealers, higher than the league average (27%). Those defensive abilities don't do much for fantasy owners, but in real world baseball, his ability to contribute in both run prevention and run production make him one of the most interesting young position players potentially available on the market.
But that's not to say Realmuto didn't have any fantasy value. In fact, according to our metrics, Realmuto was the third-best catcher in terms of fantasy production last season, and he is also a player who could benefit by playing more games away from Marlins Park.
In home games last season, Realmuto batted .224/.287/.340 with a wRC+ of 67 (100 is considered average for a run producer). On the road, he hit .323/.369/.543 with a wRC+ of 136. In all, 12 of his 17 dingers last season were hit away from home. Those splits are reflective of his career stats. as well.
As of now, it doesn't appear as if the Marlins are hot to move Realmuto, but he wants out. Usually, that means the player is going to get out, and if he does, teams will be lining up around the block to trade for one of baseball's premier young backstops.