As the catching market begins to shape up, it is becoming clear which teams are serious in trying to acquire perhaps the best backstop in all of baseball, J.T. Realmuto of the Miami Marlins.
It is no secret that the Marlins asking price is high, and that has already led to teams like the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets finding other solutions at catcher.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are believed to still be in the mix for Realmuto, and the latest reports indicate that they could be willing to include top prospects like Dustin May and either Keibert Ruiz or Will Smith in a deal.
It appears they still have some competition though, as according to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Houston Astros are upping their pursuit of Realmuto after reportedly signing outfielder Michael Brantley, and other teams are still involved as well:
The #Astros are back in the mix for #Marlins J.T. Realmuto. Top prospect Kyle Tucker remains a target for a potential deal. The #Padres also have interest, along with #Dodgers #Rays and more. Hard to say if there is a frontrunner at this point. Multiple teams involved.
— Joe Frisaro (@JoeFrisaro) December 18, 2018
By signing Brantley, the Astros may now view one of their top prospects, outfielder Kyle Tucker, as expendable in a deal for Realmuto. Because of that, the Astros may be the Dodgers’ biggest competition as of now.
Earlier in the offseason, the Marlins asked for Cody Bellinger as a part of the Dodgers’ return, but Bellinger is viewed to be essentially untouchable for Los Angeles, so a trade would have to involve some of the team’s other top young players.
Realmuto is under contract for two more seasons, but with both Ruiz and Smith being only one year away from being Major-League ready, the Dodgers may not meet the Marlins’ asking price and instead look for a one-year solution on the free agent or trade markets to fill their hole at catcher.
The Marlins reportedly would like to have a resolution on what they plan to do with Realmuto by Christmas, so things could begin to heat up in the next few days.