The Los Angeles Dodgers entered the 2018 Winter Meetings with obvious holes to fill at the catcher position and in the bullpen. In their quest to acquire a new backstop, the club has most prominently been connected to Miami Marlins All-Star J.T. Realmuto thus far.
Realmuto, at just 27 years old, is widely considered the best catcher in all of baseball. With the Marlins in the midst of a rebuild, he’s expected to be traded for a haul of prospects at some point this offseason.
The Dodgers aren’t alone in their pursuit of Realmuto, however, as a number of other teams including the New York Yankees and New York Mets remain engaged in talks with the Marlins as well.
According to Joel Sherman of The New York Post, the Mets have been more aggressive in their efforts to acquire Realmuto when compared to the Dodgers due to the Marlins’ asking price of 2017 National League Rookie of the Year Cody Bellinger:
Just to show how difficult obtaining Realmuto is, #Marlins asked #Dodgers for Cody Bellinger plus prospects. Sense is Miami is coming to grips that have to trade him this offseason, but price has remained high. Van Wagenen #Mets has stayed engaged while LAD have been less so.
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 11, 2018
While the Dodgers are expected to deal from their surplus of outfielders this winter, they presumably would like to hold on to Bellinger at all costs.
When Los Angeles inquired on Realmuto in November, the Marlins reportedly requested Bellinger in addition to Yasiel Puig or top prospect Alex Verdugo. Miami’s high cost could ultimately lead the Dodgers to pivot elsewhere for a catcher.
Should the Dodgers drop out of the race to acquire Realmuto, one would think he has an excellent chance to wind up in New York.
A report indicated on Monday that a potential three-way blockbuster between the Marlins, Mets and Yankees was being discussed that would see Realmuto and Noah Syndergaard change uniforms.