Marlins Demanding Prospect From Phillies In J.T. Realmuto Trade

Sherman Parsons
February 10, 2019

That was, until, on Thursday when Miami sent Realmuto the Philadelphia Phillies for catcher Jorge Alfaro, pitching prospects Sixto Sanchez and Will Stewart, and an worldwide bonus slot.

Sixto Sanchez, while risky due to recent elbow injuries, is the type of top pitching prospect the Marlins were coveting all along. MLB Pipeline ranked him the 27 prospect in all of baseball in their latest list. "I think the upgrade is pretty significant".

With Realmuto no longer available, the Dodgers seem poised to go into Spring Training with Russell Martin and Austin Barnes as their primary catchers.

The scout said his only concern with Sanchez is his health. "But when it was all said and done, we were comfortable with his medical and couldn't be happier to add that talent to our pitching stable". He's expected to start this year in Double-A, and Stewart will begin in Single-A. The last player involved in the deal is a pitcher that took some time to develop but looks to be a back half of the rotation guy or someone that could be turned into a useful pen arm.

Sanchez in 48 games over four seasons in the minors is 15-12 with a 2.48 ERA with 191 strikeouts in 221 1/3 innings.

Alfaro, in three seasons with the Phillies, has hit.270 with 15 home runs.

The reaction on the trade appears mixed, with many fans/media believing the Phillies gave up way too much for Realmuto. He won't be eligible for free agency until 2024.

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Realmuto was a first-time All-Star in his fourth season past year.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post cites multiple sources (Twitter link) for the proposition that the negotiations are "down to physical reviews" and the supplemental prospect pieces in the swap.

Hill said trading Realmuto to a team within the same division was never a concern. "In any trade that we've ever made, we always focus on our return and what's best for the Miami Marlins".

The 2018 season was Alfaro's first full year in the big leagues. Defensively, Realmuto committed just seven errors in 879 chances behind the plate for a.992 fielding mark and threw out 25 of 53 players attempting to steal a base (32 percent). He led the Marlins with 21 home runs and 74 RBI for the season.

The Phillies remain confident that they will land one of the big free agents this season and they made their intent clear about being ready to spend "stupid" money when they met the Marlins' demands when so many other teams were unwilling.

Miami's rebuilding project will probably continue for several years under CEO Derek Jeter, whose group bought the team after the 2017 season. During that period, the club has traded away Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich - winners of the last two NL MVP awards - and outfielder Marcell Ozuna.

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