The Houston Astros have cleared some of their catching depth as they have declined their team option on Brian McCann's contract, making him a free agent.
Letting McCann go (for the moment) was a no-brainer due to the $15 million price tag of his 2019 option and the fact that he did not play well this year. Still, it leaves the Astros with some questions as to who their starting catcher will be next year.
If the Astros are going to compete with the now-reigning World Champion Boston Red Sox, they should swing for the fences in their pursuit of a catcher.
Brian McCann becomes a free agent. Now I guess that the #Astros could be very aggressive in the market for J.T. Realmuto.— Daniel Álvarez Montes (@DaniAlvarez_16) October 31, 2018
J.T. Realmuto is arguably the best catcher in the league and is expected to be available in a trade this offseason. The Marlins are going to be able to create a bidding war for the young All-Star catcher, but whatever the price is, it's worth it for the Astros to add him to their already-stacked lineup.
So many teams could use JT Realmuto and he makes any offense significantly better. Makes it hard to guess who's all in on JT. If the Astros can work a deal without giving up Whitley the fish can really deepen their farm. We're talking 4-5 high upside prospects which is the goal— BSchneid (@YaaBoyyBrett) October 31, 2018
Realmuto hit .277 this year with 21 home runs and 74 RBI, while showing off great defense behind the plate. Realmuto also provides speed on the basepath.
Slotting Realmuto in the middle of a lineup that already features Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa would be a nightmare for any pitcher to navigate next season.