Time to get the deal done Astros for J.T. Realmuto.
On Tuesday, the Astros will be adding some players to the 40-man roster, or they risk losing them. There are several players eligible for the Rule 5 draft at the end of the Winter Meetings in December. One of those players who were eligible for the Rule 5 draft was Trent Thornton, but he was traded to the Blue Jays for Aledmys Diaz. There are now four other top-30 prospects who need to be protected ahead of Tuesday’s deadline.
We discussed all of the four players on last night’s Talking Stros but focused mostly on one player. That is, Garrett Stubbs, who could battle Max Stassi and Chris Herrmann for the starting catcher job in 2019. If you are an Astros fan, those thoughts should send shivers down your spine. Brian McCann and Martin Maldonado are not on the team at the moment as free agents. The Astros will explore all other options before re-signing Maldonado.
This is including looking for free agents and examining the trade market. Not knowing what the future holds, the Astros could be hesitant to add too many players to the 40-man roster. They have to add Rogelio Armenteros, but they may have to move a player to protect Riley Ferrell as well. On Talking Stros last Sunday, we discussed how the Astros were more likely to add via trades versus signing a player. Jeff Passan confirmed that later last week.
They need a catcher. The Marlins need to trade catcher J.T. Realmuto. It makes too much sense that the two teams get together for a deal. What is the holdup? As we saw with the James Paxton trade to the Yankees, the Astros are not willing to give up Forrest Whitley (or Kyle Tucker). According to rumors, the Marlins still feel like they can get one of those two players in a deal. However, no deal has been made, yet.
This could change quickly. The Washington Nations just added Kurt Suzuki, so they are not looking for a catcher. It has already been reported that the Dodgers are after Realmuto, but they may not have the prospects available that the Astros could offer. J.B. Buskaukas, Stubbs, and a couple of other prospects that would hurt. However, they will try to hold onto Whitley, Tucker, and Yordan Alvarez. As much as you can trust Jeff Luhnow to get the deal done, you see what the Marlins are reportedly asking from the Dodgers. It’s so ridiculous and not worth mentioning.
Realmuto is one of the best catchers in the game stuck in Florida. The team is in a rebuilding phase, but the Marlins held onto him. He batted .274 with 21 homers and 74 RBI, which would fit in well in the Astros lineup. However, as Brandon DelCastillo keeps saying on Talking Stros, two years of Realmuto is not worth seven years of Tucker or Whitley. However, there are other players the Marlins could be interested.
Thoughts?— Baseball Lawyer (@Bballlawyer) November 20, 2018
Nelson Cruz (FA)
Craig Mish thinks the Astros and Braves are most likely to trade for Realmuto.
Realmuto % Opening Day 2019— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) November 19, 2018
(Entertainment purposes only)
Astros 25% 📈
Rockies 10% 📉
Cubs 5% 📈
Nationals 📉 ✌🏼
Other 10 %
The Mets have also joined the catching search, but the Astros appear to have the biggest need. Realmuto is not just a good hitter; he is an all-around player. He throws out 33% of the runners trying to steal and is a good pitch framer. As a bonus, he played eight games at first base last year.
Look for a deal to get done soon, but predicting the players involved is hard to do. They could look to complete a deal soon before Wilson Ramos or Yasmani Grandal are taken off the market. They don’t want to be stuck with a combo of Stassi, Herrmann, or Stubbs at the start of the season. Stay tuned Astros fans, big moves on the horizon.