The proposed offer of prospect Jonathan India, former Gold Glove catcher Tucker Barnhart, and [insert third piece here] has been on the table for some time now, but apparently the Marlins have been using that as a benchmark to ask for more from other suitors. And, it appears that strategy might have landed them a deal, as the Philadelphia Phillies appear poised to land Realmuto, as MLB Network’s Joel Sherman is reporting.
Have now heard from 2 sources that Realmuto to #Phillies is down to physical reviews and 3d piece beyond Alfaro/Sanchez. But I have NOT been told anything is final.— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) February 7, 2019
That’s promising pre-arb catcher Jorge Alfaro and fireballing RHP prospect Sixto Sanchez, to be clear. Alfaro, 25, was a consensus Top 100 overall prospect for three years running prior to his rookie campaign, while Sanchez, just 20, is ranked as high as #13 overall at the moment (by Baseball America). There is also a third piece expected to be included in the deal, with former #1 overall pick Mickey Moniak and 2017 1st rounder Adam Haseley rumored to be in the mix.
That’s a rather impressive haul, all told. In many ways, it’s a package that the Reds would almost certainly have to use Hunter Greene to match, and there’s plenty out there to suggest that Sanchez still might be considered the better prospect. If so, that’s a price that’s approaching ‘hard to justify’ levels even for a player as talented as Realmuto, since he only comes with two years of team control. Two excellent years, of course, and two that now appear set to be played in a much more hitter-friendly team park than he’s been stuck in for years, but still just two years.
It’s worth mentioning that the Phillies offer also appears good enough to coax the Marlins into trading him within their division, something they were wary of from the start.
It will certainly be interesting to see where the Reds go from here as the offseason winds to a close. Chasing Realmuto suggests they still think they can make improvements to their roster, after all, though there aren’t really any other obvious catching candidates available at the moment. It’s also worth wondering how their relationship with Barnhart will be after this dust settles, since it’s been fairly clear the team was willing to make an upgrade behind the plate a priority.