The Los Angeles Dodgers are currently in search of a starting catcher as Yasmani Grandal rejected their qualifying offer and opted to become a free agent.
Grandal in theory could still be re-signed, and there are plenty of viable options on the free-agent market, including veterans Wilson Ramos, Jonathan Lucroy and others. But perhaps the most intriguing candidate is on the trade market.
The Miami Marlins have let it be known that they are shopping All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto as he requested a trade ahead of his age 28 season. Realmuto is under team control for two more seasons, so it likely will come at a heavy cost for whoever acquires him.
It appears the Dodgers are putting some serious thought into that as an answer to solve their problem at catcher as Peter Gammons singled them out on MLB Network as the one of a handful of teams to keep an eye on in the Realmuto sweepstakes:
“I think there are about eight or 10 teams that are going to go after him. But the team that I keep hearing about, that I find very interesting, are the Dodgers.”
Realmuto is coming off a career season with the Marlins, batting .277/.340/.484 with 21 home runs and 74 RBI. He won a Silver Slugger Award in 2018, and although he has not won any Gold Gloves, is known to be solid behind the plate as well.
The Dodgers are in a peculiar position as far as their catching situation goes as two of their top prospects, Will Smith and Keibert Ruiz, both play the position but are believed to be at least one more year away from being Major League ready.
Thus, Los Angeles really only needs more of a stopgap than long-term answer at catcher. That same organizational could also be a factor in the Dodgers’ ability to to acquire Realmuto.