We’ve been down this road before, but it seems as if the Cincinnati Reds are making a push for Miami Marlins catcher JT Realmuto according to Jon Heyman.

There may be a little fire here based on something that I heard earlier today (no, I’m not going to expand on this, so don’t ask). Of course, it could have been something else entirely, too. Here’s what we do know, though: JT Realmuto is the best catcher in baseball. Over the last three seasons he’s been the most valuable catcher in the game, and by a decent margin. We know that he is under contract for the next two seasons before becoming a free agent. And we know that the Marlins have told teams that they will not grant a “contract extension window” as a part of the trade, like the Reds were granted in the Sonny Gray deal.

Adding JT Realmuto to the Reds would be a solid upgrade. Tucker Barnhart is a quality catcher. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having him as your starter. But Realmuto is the best catcher. Adding him to a roster that’s in that .500 range pushes you closer to that 85-win mark, where if things go your way at all, you’re now looking at a legit chance at the division.

The question remains, what would it take to land JT Realmuto from the Marlins. Heyman noted that the Marlins have interest in the Reds top three prospects (Nick Senzel, Taylor Trammell, Hunter Greene). That’s not surprising. It would be far more surprising if they weren’t interested in those guys. With just two years on his deal, does it make sense to move one of those guys (and probably secondary parts) to bring a new catcher to Cincinnati? That’s a tough one to answer.

Nick Senzel doesn’t currently have a for-sure spot to play in Cincinnati in 2019. But he should in 2020, assuming the team doesn’t extend Scooter Gennett. There’s also the chance that he could be the teams starting center fielder. The Reds certainly know more about how he’s progressed there this offseason than the rest of us do. He’s been at the spring training complex in Goodyear all offseason working on the position.

Taylor Trammell isn’t likely to see time in the Major Leagues in 2019. He’s yet to play a game in Double-A at this point. 2020, though, is a realistic ETA for the outfielder. He can play both center or left field, so there could absolutely be a spot for him on the roster soon. With that said, if for some reason the team believes his arm will hold him back from playing center and that he’s only a left fielder, it does make it a tiny bit easier to move him in a trade.

When it comes to Hunter Greene it’s a big question mark. His elbow, he claims, is 100%. That’s great news. But the fact is that he did miss time last year with a torn UCL in his elbow. And for as good as he is, he’s still likely 2 years away from the Major Leagues given his age and level he’s played at. And that’s on a timeline where he remains healthy and doesn’t hit any stumbling blocks along the way. Greene has more upside than any pitcher in the organization, and you always hesitate to move someone like that because you can dream on him leading the top of your rotation.

Of course, it’s not as if those are the only three prospects the Marlins could/would be interested in. Jonathan India is the #5 overall draft pick from 2018 and a Top 40/50 prospect in all of baseball. Several places rated him higher than Hunter Greene in their Top 100 lists. Behind that is Tony Santillan, who was Baseball America’s #69 overall prospect in baseball just last week. He ranks higher on my Reds Top 25 list than Jonathan India does.

The Reds have options to work with here if they want to get the deal done. Some of them may hurt more than others depending on how you want to look at things. Mostly, if there’s only one of those five prospects involved, there’s someone else in the system that is sort-of-kind-of a close facsimile of them. Nick Senzel and Jonathan India are similar-ish. Hunter Greene and Tony Santillan are similar-ish. Taylor Trammell is kind of on his own a little bit, but outfield is still deep in the organization. As I keep saying: Hold onto your butts.

105 Responses

  1. Frank K

    If you’re the GM, what are YOU willing to give up (MAX)?

    • Cameron

      India and Robert Stephenson for Realmuto and Adam Conley. No way they should give up Senzel or Trammell for 2 years of Realmuto. Especially when they have Tucker. If the Marlins were going to get a prospect of that caliber a trade would’ve already happened. They’ve been trying to trade him all winter.

      • Cameron

        Then trade Barnhart and Winker to Atlanta for Inciarte and Max Fried. I know I’m in the minority here, but I think Schebler > Winker. Jesse gives everything his bat produces back with his defense and baserunning.

      • earmbrister

        I take that back. If the Reds are convinced that Stephenson can be a big league catcher, I’d keep him for three years from now when Realmuto is gone. Trade India and a lesser prospect like Friedl (though not Gutierrez). Re-sign Gennett, who wants to be here, and let Senzel sink or swim in CF. Schebler can be plan B in CF if Senzel doesn’t stick there.

  2. AirborneJayJay

    Realmuto is coming to Cincinnati. Bet on it. It will be Barnhart, India, Siri, and Gutierrez. Siri and Gutierrez could be September call ups and in the Marlins 2020 lineup. India in 2021.
    Dude over at RLN said last night that Realmuto would be a Red by Friday. He nailed it.

    • Steve BP

      As much as I like India, if DW pulls that off, that would be incredibly impressive.

      • Steve BP

        I like India and think he’ll be really good, but he’s blocked at 3rd and 2nd for the next 5+ seasons, so he’s expendable if you’re trading a top 5 prospect.

        I’d be for putting Siri in the trade if you need another top 10 prospect. No matter how great the tools are, it’s going to be hard to be successful in the majors if you’re striking out 32% of the time in AA and walking only 8%

        Finally, Realmuto’s Home/Road splits are pretty wild. I think there’s a good chance he pulls a Yelich, gets out of that ballpark and turns out a 6-7 Win season. With him in the lineup you’ll run out 6 guys who are 120 wRC+ and that turns into 7 if Senzel can play center. Almost no one in the NL can do that.

        He’s too good of a player to pass on unless you have to trade a top 3 guy

      • Mjc

        I hope they don’t do this. India is gonna be a good one . You don’t make these type trades unless it’s gonna put you over the top . Two years from now ,Realmuto leaves for free agency.as the marlins build there team around a potential star.you only trade this guy for top starting pitcher when your closer to playoffs.

    • Wes

      I like it! It’ll be more than marlins got for any of their other traded players so why not on their end ?? Let’s see it !

    • Jon Ryker

      Don’t trade SIri. India and Barnhardt and somebody else not important.

    • MuddyCleats

      Interesting & exsiting, but not sure it helps Reds much long term? Reds r missing explosive players – they need another Eric the Red type athlete 2 build around. Don’t see JT having that type of impact. Likewise, Reds have long history of NOT developing SP – they need a future stud on the bump more than they need a 2 yr catcher. What would it take 2 trade 4 Robles or Guerrio Jr type player – someone w/ all 5 skills.

  3. Phil

    If it was 3 years control instead of 2, maybe part with Senzel or Trammell… No way for 2. Tough call on the others. But just the fact that we’re having this discussion (after all the other moves) is encouraging.

  4. JD

    What package makes sense to you?
    The only way I trade Senzel is if it’s for Kluber. To me, Trammell and Greene are untouchables. I don’t know enough about Santillan and Guterriez to put them in the untouchable group.

  5. Bernie

    I’m only guessing at this but the price would probably be similar to the price for Kluber; if I am guessing right, then I would rather have Kluber but getting the best catcher in baseball is not bad either.

  6. redleggingfordayz

    I am okay with Schebler, Trammell, and Barnhart for Realmuto. The guy is a real game changer and he would make all of the pitchers they have acquired all the better. He is also an offensive force and hitting half his games at GABP would be great to watch. I can’t justify parting with Senzel or Greene though personally.

  7. Steve

    Some of these moves may work and some of them may not, but I will say that I am happy that our Reds are one of the few teams in baseball being aggressive and really trying to get better. If they are able to acquire JT and still hold onto the top 3 prospects then I will be ecstatic. Go Reds.

  8. MikeinSoCal

    A three team swap wouldn’t surprise me. The dodgers or Padres being the other team. The reds would somehow land a CF.

    • Bernie

      Cleveland does not have a good starting catcher; maybe they are the 3rd team, especially if Barnhart is not part of the deal going to Miami.

  9. RedsFaninPitt

    Love to see the Reds get San Diego involved in this. Maybe a 3-team trade that sends Barnhart and one of the Padres good prospects to Marlins, in exchange for Senzel to Padres. Great to see Reds get Realmuto + C. Paddock and Franchy Cordero or Manual Margot. Get 2-3 good birds that we need with 2 stones.

  10. Jim t

    Would love to pick up JT for a package built around Trammel and Barnhardt. Really not convinced Trammel will be a CF’er with his below average arm and we are currently stocked with corner outfielders. I think he will be a very good player but to get the best catcher in the game you have to give up something. We still have Siri and Posssibly Senzel for CF. we also have India me Senzel that could also play 2nd.

  11. Shawn

    India, Gutierrez, Barnhart and R Stevenson. I don’t know if that would get it done but I wouldn’t be willing to trade Senzel, Trammell, Greene or Santillan. Don’t really want to trade T Stevenson either but would consider it. In 2 years when Realmuto is gone T Stevenson should about be ready for the big leagues.

  12. Tom

    Things are so bad in Miami.

    They traded Yelich and Stanton and Ozuna and have zero top 100 players to show for it.

    Simply reminding them what they paid for those players in comparison for what they’d want for Realmuto would be a sore spot and a non-starter.

    Nevertheless, I don’t think Trammell would be their favorite target in the sense they already whiffed on Brinson and Monte Harrison and both are CF/OF types.

    Tyler Kolek might prevent them from interest in Hunter Greene.

    Senzel would be their preferred target, IMO.

    However, as you look at their timeline, why start the clock on Senzel now? Their rebuild is basically year one of ten again this year. They might actually see the logic in acquiring India who is 2-3 years away from MLB.

    India
    Barnhardt
    throw in AAAA pitcher like Reed or Finnegan
    20-30 ranked prospect

    That should mostly get it done, IMO.

    Realmuto is a nice player, but not as good or as valuable as Yelich. The two deals, as poor as the Yelich deal turned out to be, should still not look anything similar.

  13. Bubba Woo

    Only two years of team control doesn’t bother me. He’s a catcher and would probably be open to an extension anyway since playing out the next two years hoping to avoid injury is a big risk at that position. And if he’s not, Stephenson will probably be ready by 2021. I wouldn’t trade Senzel/Trammell/Greene, but if they could find a third team to trade with, they might be able to package either Scooter/Schebler/Winker with a couple of the prospects, say India and Santillan, to get him (I’m assuming the Marlins are in full tank mode and only want prospects).

  14. AirborneJayJay

    India has to be of interest to the Marlins. The new top-100 rankings having him in the top-50 now helps. Siri’s performance in the Dominican League and their Championship series had to get the Marlins scout’s attention. That OF the Marlins have is huge, so Siri may be a better fit for them than Trammell is.
    Barnhart just makes sense to be included.
    Gutierrez is in the Reds top-10 prospects. Maybe the Reds include another FL native and UF player in LHP Scott Moss, 13-4 at Daytona last season.
    Even if it is just 4 of these players, the Marlins haul here would be better than what they got for Yelich. Even a better haul if Moss is included.
    I wouldn’t fret over a Realmuto extension that the Marlins are not permitting. An extension can be negotiated with Realmuto at any time after a trade. That also might help the Reds in the prospect price too, not getting to talk extension beforehand.

      • Charlie Waffles

        WTF ??????????????????????????????
        Wha choo talkin about Willis??

      • Doug Gray

        He means don’t trade extra value hoping you can get an extension signed.

  15. AllTheHype

    I think Trammell is the guy I would part with. Senzel and India have much more positional flexibility and defensive potential at premium positions. Trammell “might ” be able to play CF, then again he might not. Trammell + Barnhart + kick ins NOT in Reds top 10 is plenty for 2 years of JT.

    • gaffer

      No way . . trammell is the next Reds perennial ALL star. But india is a 1-2 WAR player.

    • Mjc

      I also hope they don’t trade India.id trade Trammel before him but I would keep both. We got a good catcher.Realmuto is better sure but the difference won’t put us in the playoffs. We build around these young players . Not trade them.the only way a small market team can stay competive. In two years Realmuto is gone as is the top prospects. No thank you.

      • Reaganspad

        the trade is back in the works because of India.

        No to Trammel, Senzel, Siri, Greene

  16. Jim t

    Guys if the reds are one of three teams seeking to acquire JT you not only have to have a good package but you must outbid the other suitors. Trammel will have to be the headliner especially considering Senzel will be part of this years ML roster potentially as a CF.

    • RedsFaninPitt

      Not if the Padres are included in the deal. The Padres could send the Marlins a good prospect. The Marlins get Barnhart and the Padres good prospect. The Reds get Realmuto and one of the Padres CF (I would ask for more from Padres) since I know they want Senzel so badly. And, the Padres get Senzel. You may ask why don’t the Reds just trade Senzel to the Padres for a CF, and my answer would be that the Reds want something more than just one of their CFs and they want Realmuto.

  17. Choo Choo Coleman

    India, Stephenson or Barnhart, Gutierrez, & Reed for JT & Class A prospect

    Gennett, David Hernandez, Rob Steve to LAD for Joc Pederson, Class AA prospect

    Sign Gio Gonzalez as FA!

    Great off season. Call it a day!

    • Charlie Waffles

      Why sign Gio now? To carry Alex Wood’s and Sonny Gray’s jocks?

  18. cinvenfan

    None of the top 3. Reluctant on Santillan and Siri (I believe in this kid)

    India, Tucker, R. Stephenson, Cody Reed/Romano/Mahle/Finnegan. (even 2 of these) for 2 years seems more than enough to me.

  19. Krozley

    Dodgers need Realmuto. Marlins know this. Reds and other teams are being thrown out there as potential suitors for leverage to maximize what the Fish get from the Dodgers. At least, that is how I see it. I like JT, but I like our top prospects better.

    • Tom

      It does feel like another team is waiting in the lurch to seal a comeback. I will be surprised if the Reds win this deal. It will be a big win for the 2019 team.

      Objectively, there were three big problems on the Reds offense: CF, C, and one of the corners. They have worked hard at addressing these needs despite the common sentiment that it was mostly if not entirely the pitching that would decide a successful 2019 team.

  20. Norwood Nate

    I’d have a hard time parting with any of the top three for anyone with only two years of control. I’d rather give up India than Santillan because of the redundancy with Senzel, the fact that Santillin is a top 100 pitching prospect, and he’s close to being ready.

    India and Barnhart, maybe with Gutierrez included as well. Anything much more than that is getting to be too steep for my blood.

    JTR is great, but is he that much better than Tucker that you give up a ton of future for two seasons? It’s a tough question.

    • Tom

      Creating a lineup without an easy out has a carrying effect. I don’t have math or studies to support it, but I’ve watched the Cardinals go for years with just good across the board, nothing so great as Votto, and it’s always worked. If Peraza is indeed the week link on this offense, with Senzel in CF and Realmuto at C, they could finally score 750-800 runs again.

  21. DolphLuque

    Just say no. Realmuto is no better than Barnhart defensively and is marginally better offensively. WAR difference on average over the last two years is 1.9. That doesn’t move the needle far enough to mortgage the future. Tucker’s numbers may be better now that we have some viable backups and don’t run him into the ground. On top of it all, we only get him for 2 years. Again just say no!

  22. Steve D

    Doug,
    Any chance the Reds could trade for him with the condition the extend him beyond the two years. (Similar to sonny gray)???!! I don’t see this trade being worth any of those prospects with only two years of control. However, if they can extend him an additional three years I would gladly give up India and Greene

    • Colorado Red

      Miami has said, NO.
      Of course, you can negotiate after you acquire him.
      And depending on how bad they want the package, they might change there mind.

    • Bill

      I don’t think a 72 hour window really works for Realmuto or the Reds. Getting the privilege of negotiating will cost the Reds additional considerations in a trade–bad for them. Realmuto has no incentive to accept an abbreviated negotiating window. I think Sonny Gray wanted to be a Red to work with Johnson, Casali, and Cotham. That gave him incentive to agree to work out an extension on a shot clock.

      • Steve D

        I think the way the negotiating window works is no deal unless extension agrees upon. So yes you would offer more but would only give up those prospects if the extension is agreed to. If no extension trade is off the table.

      • Bill

        Agreed … that’s kinda what I was trying to say. Just don’t see the same incentives in this case as with Sonny Gray.

  23. MikeinSoCal

    This one is a cliffhanger and supposedly the asking price is high. Could cost India, Santillan, Barnhart. Or maybe a three team swap. Padres, Braves, Dodgers? Reds probably want a CF included. Padres have a crowded OF and are all over the map with rumors, Machado, Harper, Realmuto. I can’t wait to see the outcome.

  24. DrBagel

    The no better on defense is debatable, but Realmuto is more than marginally better on offense. Having only 2 years of control is a fair point, but the offense is without question a significant improvement.

    • Bill

      Brian Anderson split time between 3B and RF last year came up as a 3B. They control him for 5 more years and he was their best player after Realmuto with 3.9 bWAR.

  25. Jack Recard

    JTR for India, Winker, Barnhart and Vlad

    Winker is the least athletically gifted of any current Reds OF and unless his power increase is genuine, his only real tool is OBP. He also looks like a liability on the base paths with his lack of speed.

    Barnhart for obvious reasons and Vlad as a higher end lottery pick for them.

    India is the headliner because he is the easiest to part with out of the top 4.

    • Scott C

      Winker is also the best hitter of our outfielders and he is only one of those projected as starter that is controlled past 2019. They don’t need to be trading Winker.

    • Tom

      Winker in place of India or Barnhart would be interesting, especially if the Indians are involved sending Winker to the AL. I think Winker could be a decent 1b/LF in the NL in the James Loney mold. The Reds can’t really use him to his full potential, although I don’t mind the depth.

  26. Scott C

    Two years of JTR is not enough to give up none of Senzel, Trammel or Green. I also would not like to see Santillan in that group but would be willing to include him if the rest of the cost is not too high. Much prefer the Reds seek a centerfielder.

  27. Bill

    My offer would be India and Barnhart. Realmuto can be expected to produce ~9 WAR over the next 2 years and will cost about $16M; so we need to make up ~7 WAR. Barnhart should produce ~6 WAR over the next 3 years at a cost of ~$11M. So he has an excess of ~4.5 WAR (add 1 WAR if you expect his option to be exercised). The #51 player (India’s BA ranking) is worth about $29M on Fangraph’s prospect valuation chart or about 3.5 WAR. Miami trades the Reds ~7 surplus WAR for ~8 surplus WAR. Trade balances out if the Reds issue Realmuto a qualifying offer following the 2020 season. If the Reds extend Realmuto, the trade flips decidedly in their favor. I suspect that Realmuto has indicated does not want to discuss an extension with a 72-hour time limit.

    • AirborneJayJay

      1 WAR = $8MM. Some say even $9MM. Your math is way, way off.

      • Bill

        * Realmuto: 4.5 WAR x 2 years = 9 WAR; $16M @ $8M/WAR = 2 WAR
        (9 WAR – 2 WAR = 7 WAR). Surplus value for Realmuto is ~ 7 WAR.

        * Barnhart: 2 WAR x 3 years = 6 WAR; $11M @ $8M/WAR = 1.375 WAR ( I rounded to 1.5)
        (6 WAR – 1.5 WAR = 4.5 WAR) Surplus value for Barnhart is ~ 4.5 WAR)

        * India: $29M @$8M/WAR = 3.625 WAR (I rounded to 3.5)
        India’s surplus value in WAR is about 3.5 WAR.

        Barnhart (4.5 WAR) + India (3.5 WAR) = 8.0 WAR which is 1 greater than 7.0 WAR in surplus value

        WAR estimates for Realmuto and Barnhart were based on an average of projections available on Fangraphs rounded to keep the math simple. I’m always shy about doing math in public, and you may disagree with my logic or assumptions, but I think my arithmetic checks out.

  28. Cguy

    Let’s see; Reds replace manager. Reds replace pitching coach. Reds replace 3 of 5 sp in the rotation. Now Reds replace starting catcher.Duh? How ’bout dem 2020 Reds? Tucker is the reason for this season or they’re just dancing in the dark.

  29. BJ Ruble

    I’m scared with the vertigo issues Senzel has had. I’d trade Senzel and Siri for Realmuto then flip him and someone else (Mahle?) for Syndergaard. The Mets have wanted Realmuto bad, the Marlins already stated no interest in Tucker (too much money), and the Reds would get their front of the rotation guy.

  30. Optimist

    Let’s not forget Connor Joe. Could the Reds make a 3-way deal including the Dodgers? India and 1 or 2 lesser prospects to the Fish, Barnhart and another lesser prospect or 2 to the Dodgers, and the Reds get Realmuto and Joc and Connor Joe released from the Rule 5 requirements?

    IIRC the Reds listed Joe as a C when taken, so he’d be the 3rd catcher, and could be sent to the Bats under this scenario.

    Who, and how many, are the lesser prospects will be the issue, but keeping the top 4 out the trade would be a great deal.

    • Bill

      As I understand the rules, Connor Joe has to pass through waivers (a necessary procedure to come off the 40-man roster) before the Dodgers can reacquire his rights to include him in a trade.

      • Optimist

        I thought they had first right to reclaim if we were to designate him for assignment. IOW, we designate, they claim him, and immediately include him in the trade back.

      • Colorado Red

        I think if he is traded, as stays on the new teams 25, he does not need to pass through waivers.

        Doug, what is the exact rule here.

      • Doug Gray

        Correct, Colorado Red. If he’s traded and remains on the other teams roster, he doesn’t need to pass through waivers first.

      • Bill

        Doug and CR are correct. Connor Joe currently belongs to the Reds, the Dodgers can’t trade him at this point. The Reds can trade Connor Joe, but he remains subject to Rule 5 restrictions. For the Dodgers to release Connor Joe from his Rule 5 restrictions, he must pass through waivers (the other 28 teams get a chance claim him). Then once the Reds offer him back to the Dodgers, the Dodgers can take him back for a fee or he stays with the Reds. Here are the Rule 5 rules from mlbtraderumors.com

        https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/06/the-rule-5-draft.html

      • Optimist

        Interesting – went back over the rule – so it seems you have to do the DFA in advance of the scheme I proposed. If so, would we know if we’ve already passed him through waivers (I think not, since there is still the “offer back” rule) and are prepared to offer him back to the Dodgers as a way to get him retraded to us and thus off the 25 and 40 man rosters?

        Too deep in the weeds, but curious.

  31. Stock

    Too big so it will never happen but here is my dream trade

    To Reds from Miami: Realmuto, Steckenrider
    To Reds from Padres: Yates, Margot, Franmil Reyes

    To Padres from Reds: Senzel
    To Padres from Marlins: Trevor Richards

    To Marlins from Reds: India, Gutierrez, Robert Stephenson, Winker, Schebler (one of Reed/Wisler)
    To Marlins from Padres: Nothing

    Reds are stacked offensively
    SS – Peraza
    1B – Votto
    3B – Suarez
    LF – Reyes
    RF – Puig
    2B – Gennett
    C – Realmuto
    CF – Margot

    Bullpen is now stacked and good. Iggy, Yates, Steckenrider, Hughes, Hernandez, Garrett, Lorenzen, Finnegan, Romano and (Reed or Wisler). 10 pitchers deep.

    This team would without a doubt be favorites in the NL Central. They would need to extend Gennett or risk having a hole there. They need Siri to be ready to replace Puig or extend Puig.

  32. gregmlb

    If they were smart they would have calle the Marlins last year and traded some combination of these players for Yelich. Any of these players we are talking about today are better than any of the players they got from the Brewers.

  33. KyWilson1

    Lot of people worried about only having 2 years of control. But the reds could extend or flip him if this all blows up. If they would take India, Siri, and Tucker you do that all day. Top 3 are off limits though.

  34. Mike V

    No please No .. Everything was going so well .. now this .. I hope it isn’t true .. Just for 2 years ? no way please

  35. KSoze

    I can see no reason to trade Senzel, Trammell, Green, or India to get 2 years of Realmuto. If there is a 3 way trade in the works, then India could be apart of it.

    I like these as the primary players in a 3 team trade, obviously there would need to be other pieces to make it work.

    Reds: Verdugo
    Fish: India
    Dodgers: Realmuto

    Or as before, these primary players, plus some additional pieces.

    Reds: Kluber
    Fish: India
    Tribe: Realmuto, Winker, ?

  36. DrBagel

    I think the bottom falling out of the free agent market might be behind the change of strategy from the FO. Acquiring a player and extending said player could be starting to become a real strategy now that a huge free agency pay day is no longer a guarantee. So, obtaining the best catcher in the game and extending him might be a lot easier than in the past. This would make the fear of giving up valued prospects for only 2 years of Realmuto a little less difficult to swallow.

    Maybe the FO is ahead of the curve for once and sees that guaranteed extension money might become more appealing to players than the gamble of the current free agent market. Look at Suarez’s contract, and how they dealt with Gray as examples.

    • Big Ed

      Nah. Realmuto will go into the free agent market after 2020, as sure as death and taxes. He would be stupid not to do so, and his agent is going to let him be stupid. Good free agents haven’t done poorly this year, or last. Patrick Corbin got a “good” contract, one that the Nationals will regret soon enough. Nathan Evaldi re-upped as a free agent for 4/$64m, which would have been deemed absurd for him on Labor Day.

      Even guys like Arrieta from last year’s crop did fine on an AAV basis. Arrieta’s beef is that he only got 3 years, not 5. Well, it isn’t like he can’t sign another contract when the current 3-year deal is over. He may even make more money than he would have with a 5-year contract, depending on how well he pitches this year and next.

      We all like Realmuto. What many of us don’t like is the fact that as a catcher, he is likely to only start about 235 to 240 games as catcher for the Reds. Plus, he plays a position that is prone to injuries, so there is a legitimate risk that he won’t catch or even play in even 150 games for the Reds. One foul tip to the throwing hand can cost him 6-8 weeks. As I have said, I think his bat and game is too strong to be a catcher; he needs to become an outfielder or jack-of-all-trades.

      The question is what is the Reds should reasonably give up for better offensive production in 235 games from the catcher position. I am a hard no on the top prospects — the ones who have very high ceilings. I include Senzel, Trammell, Greene, Santillan and Siri (man-crush) on that list, but I could see India and Barnhart and perhaps another piece.

      The Marlins, frankly, are pretty stupid, judging by their paltry return for Ozuna and Yelich and their awkward over-ask this winter for Realmuto. They are on the ropes now, so the Reds need to make a good deal, and not to just make a deal.

  37. Redsvol

    Some very good thoughts above. I’m not confident Realmuto gets us over the hump but I am intrigued now the the rotation has been upgraded. The catcher position in MLB is so defensive oriented. It seems that most teams have given up getting offensive value from the position. In the AL, I get it, why worry about offense from catcher when you have the DH. However, it seems very valuable in the NL where you have the black hole of the pitcher hitting.

    Trading India would be selling low on him as he was clearly tired playing for Dayton. I would be ok with trade India, Barnhart, Gutierrez, and Kemp (eat 90% of salary). They get a better return than they have ever gotten for a player and we get some value out of Kemp. I don’t see any problem bringing in an experienced defensive CF from free agent market.

    However, I agree with others on here that both Padres and Dodgers can blow away anything we can offer unless our top 3 minor leaguers are involved. If Dodgers are motivated, they will get him.

    • RedsKoolAidDrinker

      How is it selling low if his prospect ranking has increased? I think the prospect-prognosticators were able to see what you’re seeing in that the fizzling out at the end was a result of fatigue. If India truly is being considered as the headliner in the return of Realmuto, then he’s definitely not being sold at his lowest value.

  38. sixpack2

    Before Grey, this was a flip for a starting pitcher. Now, please Reds we have a watchable team. Do not screwup our minors for two years of a 30% upgrade at catching. Stay the course and give our young guys another year of experience. Even if you can extend him, you would be using the monies needed next year for a new #1 pitcher and depth.

  39. Cguy

    Did anyone notice that on the Miami Marlins depth chart, the only other catcher listed behind JT Realmuto is Chad Wallach?

    • Bill

      I did; so they seem to need a catcher coming back in any trade. Needless to say, their major league roster is weak in a number of areas.

      • Wes

        That’s bc Jeter is a broke joke. Worst move mlb did in my life time was to let those bums buy a team. They couldn’t even make payroll.

  40. Bill

    Interesting to see how this progresses … even if the Reds don’t end up obtaining Realmuto, it will be good to drive the cost up for the Dodgers or Padres. I understand teams want to get good “value” in any trade, but I sense a lack of movement on the trade market that parallels the FA market. This could indicate teams are overvaluing their prospects and creating a little market inefficiency that can be exploited by our front office.

    • Wes

      I just think the winter is time to accumulate talent via trade. Most teams prefer to cut payroll in offseason vs add payroll so those who do can get great deals like reds did. Marlins could have got 3x what they got for Stanton if they waited til trade deadline vs giving him away in offseason strictly due to owners not wanting to add a 25 mil salary when ballparks not open vs willingness to add talent when competing.

  41. RedsKoolAidDrinker

    Why not just go for it all and build the farm back up? What would it take to get Kluber, Syndergaard and Realmuto? Of course some salary would need to be shed (Kemp), but it’s not impossible. Isn’t the whole point to try and win it all—does half-in ever get it done? I’m sure we’ll suck again so we can get those high picks later and we can get some comp picks for when the stars we obtain leave via FA.
    Here ya go:
    – India, TSteve, and Siri for Realmuto and a setup reliever
    – Greene, Trammel, Romono for Syndergaard (3 years of control)
    – Senzel and Santillan for Kluber

    Are we not legit contenders with this rotation and the hitters we have? Biggest weakness is now CF, right?

    Do we really need to have a loaded farm with guys ready to graduate to the majors if we have everything we need in the big club for several years? We’ve already graduated guys that could turn the corner in Mahle and Reed for when Wood and Roark leave.

    • AllTheHype

      Under that scenario, in 2022 the Reds would be what the Orioles are now……no ML assets, and no minor league prospects either….destined for bad baseball for at least a decade thereafter, minimum. Let’s not go there. Let the FO build a strategy to compete year in and year out. Trading your farm away is NOT that strategy,

      • Mjc

        Thank you Hype. The Farm is the most important part if this team is gonna have any chance of staying competitive.trading India plus more, two years from now there all gone.we gotta build around these guys then use your farm to add finishing touches to a legit contender.

    • Reaganspad

      We currently have 9 starting pitchers and you want to add 3 more?

      You are creating a dumpster fire sale on the excess Reds pitchers

      • RedsKoolAidDrinker

        How would you have no prospects in your farm by 2022? International guys, use your depth to trade for prospects, one first round pick every year up until then as well as the competitive balance pick and you should be hitting on some others. It’s not like every single good player was gone either Siani. This would be the best team that we’ve had since we’ve won a World Series.

      • RedsKoolAidDrinker

        You don’t have want a World Series contender bc you don’t want to have a firesale of excess pitchers? Hmm. Ok.

  42. Oldtimer

    To several above. Robert Stephenson has little or no trade value except as a throw-in.

    • MuddyCleats

      Agree, & that could b said 4 many of our Ps and is why they need to continue trying 2 improve it

  43. TJ

    There are two players (Machado and Harper) that could be game changers for the Reds that would cost them exactly zero prospects. Machado would fill an obvious hole in the infield, and give the Reds an “All Star” infield. He is also the perfect bat to tag to Votto in his remaining years. Why in god’s name has no one talked about this opportunity.

    If the Reds want to win and win now, we need a quality shortstop and additional thunder in the lineup. The market is not paying contracts that these guys thought, so why not take advantage of it. Let me repeat, this cost ZERO prospects.

  44. SaveTheFarm

    I understand the “getting better” aspect of this rumor but I thought the point of having a deep farm is you trade from an area of surplus for an area of need. Aren’t other NEEDS for important than catcher? If you’re going to trade Indian trade him for something you need not something you want.