Another bunch of Reds rumors popped up today. Apparently the Cincinnati Reds are interested in the Miami Marlins’ catcher J.T. Realmuto.
In an odd turn of events on Wednesday afternoon, the Cincinnati Reds made the news in a surprising way. The latest Reds rumors have Cincinnati interested in a trade for Miami Marlins’ catcher J.T. Realmuto. Realmuto is arguably the best catcher in baseball.
This news was a bit surprising, as the Reds aren’t necessarily in the market for a starting catcher. After all, Cincinnati signed Tucker Barnhart to a 4-year extension last offseason that is incredibly affordable for a catcher of his defensive ability. But Realmuto might be too good to pass up if the price is right.
Realmuto had a monster season in 2018. He won the Silver Slugger Award and went to his first All-Star Game. The Marlins slugger slashed .277/.340/.484 with 21 homers and 74 RBIs. Realmuto’s WAR was 4.3 and his OPS+ was 131. He is an offensive weapon.
Now, here’s the rub. Obviously it would cost a lot for the Reds to land a player of Realmuto’s talents. What does that look like? Well, according to Craig Mish, it might cost Cincinnati their No. 2 overall prospect Taylor Trammell and their current backstop Tucker Barnhart.
I know, I’m not the biggest of that idea either. But, think of it this way, you’d be severely upgrading offensively at the catcher position, and while Taylor Trammell is thought to be a phenomenal talent, we’ve yet to see what he can do at the Major League level. On top of that, Cincinnati has several young outfielders who could blossom as well. TJ Friedl and José Siri are quickly moving up through the Reds’ farm system.
After a Gold Glove season in 2017, Barnhart didn’t have his best season last year. Tucker hit .248 with 10 homers and 46 RBIs. Barnhart was also called upon to play out of position for a couple weeks when he took over for the injured Joey Votto at first base.
Realmuto has two years of team control left while Tucker has three. Realmuto’s salary will continue to increase over the next two years while Barnhart’s salary over the next two seasons in less than $7.5 million. Yes, there are a lot of reasons why any team would want Realmuto in their clubhouse, but it’s interesting that the Cincinnati Reds have entered the fray given their current situation behind the plate.
Realmuto is not the first big name to be mentioned in connection with the Cincinnati Reds. Several of the latest Reds rumors had Cincinnati looking to make a deal for the like of Yasiel Puig and Alex Wood. Cincinnati has also been linked to center fielder A.J. Pollock. One thing is for sure, while there’s yet to be much action, the Cincinnati Reds have provided a lot of intrigue.