Astros Conspiracy Theory: The J.T. Realmuto Smokescreen by the Marlins

Eric Huysman on Dec. 11, 2018

If you believe what you see on the internet, J.T. Realmuto is soon to become a Met. There are rumors that the Mets, Marlins, and Yankees are talking a three-way deal. Typically when there is many rumors, there is some truth to the rumors. However, if Noah Syndergaard is indeed involved in that deal, it could get tricky and can easily fall apart. Meanwhile, according to Jon Heyman, the Mets met with Wilson Ramos today. They could be weighing the options of trade versus signing Ramos. However, no deal has been made yet.

What if this Mets talk was really just a smokescreen or part of the negotiation process? It is no secret that the Astros are seeking an upgrade at the catching position. Yes, they signed Robinson Chirinos, but he is a 34-year-old career backup catcher who was the starter last year with the Rangers. A combination with Max Stassi is not ideal, but they are prepared to roll with the duo if they don’t find the right replacement.

The Astros will be patient and try to get the best deal, which is why they haven’t traded for Realmuto yet. With the need, the two teams are a match for a deal with the Astros deep farm system. That is the problem; the Marlins knew that the Astros were desperate and were asking for a Mike Trout like-trade package. The Astros maybe hoped that adding Chirinos would take away the image that they must make a trade. Instead, they would like to make the deal.

At the same time, it allows Jeff Luhnow to be patient in trade discussions as well knowing he has something behind the plate. The Astros likely signed Chirinos to replace Stassi, and hopefully bring in another catcher to be the starter. The Marlins probably want Kyle Tucker, a Florida boy whom they could control for seven years. Maybe they leaked some of the Mets trade talk to get the Astros worried and make a panic move. Tucker is most likely the sticking point here.

Like we saw last year, Luhnow is very patient, as he waited out the Pirates in a trade for Gerritt Gole. Once one of the top three catching targets are trade/signed, the rest will follow shortly. Things may happen slowly considering Realmuto because the Marlins don’t feel like they have to trade him and he is their final big trade piece. We will see what happens over the next couple days, weeks, or months. We know Luhnow can wait out any team, will Realmuto last?

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