With Yasmani Grandal leaving in free agency, it was known that the Los Angeles Dodgers were in search of a new catcher for the 2019 season, and the best one available has been J.T. Realmuto of the Miami Marlins.
The team also brought back Russell Martin to replenish their catching depth after Grandal signed with the Milwaukee Brewers and Kyle Farmer was traded to the Cincinnati Reds.
However, the Dodgers still remain in on Realmuto and may have offered their top catching prospect, Keibert Ruiz, to the Marlins, per Joe Frisaro of MLB.com:
The Marlins remain in trade talks with the Dodgers regarding J.T. Realmuto, and per multiple sources, one of the names being discussed in return is top catching prospect Keibert Ruiz.
Miami has had on-and-off dialogue with the Dodgers for most of the offseason for Realmuto, and five other teams are said to still be in the mix for the All-Star catcher: the Rays, Padres, Astros, Braves and Reds.
Ruiz was recently ranked the top overall prospect in the Dodgers organization by Baseball America, surpassing outfielder Alex Verdugo.
Miami reportedly also asked for Major League catching depth in Realmuto trade discussions. That raises the possibility that Austin Barnes could return to the Marlins, who originally drafted him in 2011. Such a move would make the veteran Martin a backup to Realmuto, playing a similar versatile role that Barnes has in recent years.
Despite president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman saying he is content with the Dodgers’ roster as is, his front office appears to still be looking to upgrade the team as Spring Training approaches.