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A guy more valuable to Phils than Machado?

J.T. Realmuto
J.T. Realmuto of the Marlins throws towards first base during the eighth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Marlins Park on July 15, 2018. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)

There were a lot of risks in acquiring Manny Machado. Of course, there was a huge upside as well. What if the Phillies could get a guy with a huge upside and a lot fewer risks that plays a position that the Phillies could desperately use an upgrade?

Look south. Deep south; like tip of the country south. Miami. J.T. Realmuto.

The Marlins have said that they don’t want to trade their starting catcher because they were looking to sign him to an extension. Well, they reportedly haven’t said word one to him about an extension and the trade deadline has dropped under the 10-days left mark.

Realmuto is the real deal. He’s hitting 12-45-.312/.366/.535 this season and in his career is batting 50-214-.285/.329/.445 in 486 major league games coming into Sunday. He’s also a better defensive catcher than either Jorge Alfaro or Andrew Knapp and has thrown out a higher percentage of base stealers than has Alfaro.

Standard Fielding
Year Pos G GS CG Inn Ch PO A E DP Fld% lgFld% PB WP SB CS CS% lgCS%
2014 C 9 7 4 61.1 55 51 3 1 1 .982 .992 0 2 4 1 20% 28%
2015 C 118 116 113 1025.1 888 836 46 6 6 .993 .993 11 33 43 16 27% 28%
2016 C 129 124 121 1113.0 1159 1069 80 10 8 .991 .993 8 51 51 28 35% 27%
2017 C 126 125 118 1095.2 1022 929 87 6 11 .994 .993 9 44 53 25 32% 27%
2018 C 66 66 59 566.0 540 506 30 4 4 .993 .993 5 21 19 13 41% 29%
TOTAL C 448 438 415 3861.1 3664 3391 246 27 30 .993 .993 33 151 170 83 33% 28%
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/22/2018.
Jorge Alfaro
Year G GS CG Inn Ch PO A E DP Fld% lgFld% PB WP SB CS CS% lgCS%
2016 4 4 3 31.0 27 27 0 0 0 1.000 .993 1 5 0 1 100% 27%
2017 28 28 24 243.1 234 220 12 2 3 .991 .993 3 8 13 4 24% 27%
2018 67 63 61 563.0 631 581 42 8 4 .987 .993 8 32 37 17 31% 29%
TOTAL 99 95 88 837.1 892 828 54 10 7 .989 .993 12 45 50 22 31% 28%
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/22/2018.
Andrew Knapp
Year G GS CG Inn Ch PO A E DP Fld% lgFld% PB WP SB CS CS% lgCS%
2017 53 51 49 448.1 434 408 22 4 4 .991 .993 3 22 33 8 20% 27%
2018 35 33 29 293.1 316 295 15 6 2 .981 .993 5 17 25 6 19% 29%
TOTAL 88 84 78 741.2 750 703 37 10 6 .987 .993 8 39 58 14 19% 28%
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/22/2018.
While Realmuto doesn’t give you the power that Manny Machado would have, he’s not an offensive slouch. In five seasons, Realmuto’s stats for a 162-game average come out to 17-71-.285/.329/.445 while Machado over seven seasons averages 30-89-.283/.335/.486 for every 162 games. While the power numbers are much lower, Realmuto is comparable in on-base percentage and isn’t too far off in slugging percentage.
The risk is lower because while Machado is a free agent at the end of the season, Realmuto has two more seasons of salary arbitration before he can become a free agent following the 2020 season.
If you need a reason to go after Realmuto, consider that division rival Washington has been sniffing pretty heavily around the Marlins and might take a shot at bringing him to the nation’s capital.
What a trade would look like…
There isn’t a catcher to be found among the top 10 Marlins prospects. There are three outfielders, a middle infielder, a third baseman, three right-handers and two left-handers. That means that Miami would likely want a catcher in exchange. Jorge Alfaro, Andrew Knapp, Deivi Grullon; take your pick.
It’s likely that they would want either top Phillies pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez or number-two Adonis Medina and likely another slightly lesser starting pitching prospect like Franklyn Kilome or Drew Anderson. Try to steer them away from Sanchez but if you absolutely have to, put him in the deal. Also try to steer them away from Cole Irvin and Enyel De Los Santos but if they take Sanchez out you might have to include one of them. That would hurt but this is a quality catcher under team control for at least another three seasons after this one.
It’s very likely that Miami still might not be convinced. This is where someone like pitcher Spencer Howard, Arquimedes Gamboa or Jose Pujols might have to be included.
When all is said and done, the deal would be something like this:
  • Adonis Medina
  • Cole Irvin or Enyel De Los Santos
  • Jorge Alfaro or Deivi Grullon
  • Arquimedes Gamboa or Jose Pujols

That is a ton to give up but look at it this way. The Phillies would still have Sanchez, either Irvin or De Los Santos, Ranger Suarez and a couple other pitching prospects who are pretty solid. You’ve got a catcher for the foreseeable future with at least a few seasons to develop or trade for a down-the-road catcher. And with Cesar Hernandez, Scott Kingery and J.P. Crawford all in the mix, you should have a middle infield combo for the foreseeable future so that the loss of Gamboa wouldn’t hurt too much. If they chose Pujols, you’re pretty loaded on outfielders and the Phillies are likely to go after Bryce Harper following the season and/or Mike Trout following the 2019 season.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section!

 

J.T. Realmuto – offensive stats
Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG Pos
2014 MIA 11 30 29 4 7 1 1 0 9 1 8 .241 .267 .345 /2
2015 MIA 126 467 441 49 114 21 7 10 47 19 70 .259 .290 .406 *2
2016 MIA 137 545 509 60 154 31 0 11 48 28 100 .303 .343 .428 *2/D
2017 MIA 141 579 532 68 148 31 5 17 65 36 106 .278 .332 .451 *2/3D
2018 MIA 71 311 282 47 88 21 3 12 45 17 57 .312 .366 .535 *2/3
5 Years 486 1932 1793 228 511 105 16 50 214 101 341 .285 .329 .445
162 G AVG 162 644 598 76 170 35 5 17 71 34 114 .285 .329 .445
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/22/2018.

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