Are the Miami Marlins finally starting to play hardball after beginning the Derek Jeter era with a shameless, sneering fire sale? After parting with then-reigning NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton and newly-minted 2018 NL MVP Christian Yelich before the start of last season, the Fish are suddenly not in a rush to do anything rash with the last remaining star on their roster, catcher JT Realmuto.
Per insider Jon Morosi, the team has been in discussions with the Astros, and is insisting that one of the top two prospects in their organization, outfielder Kyle Tucker and right-handed pitcher Forrest Whitley, must be included in any potential deal.
Source: In trade talks, #Marlins continue to insist on Kyle Tucker or Forrest Whitley being part of any successful #Astros offer for J.T. Realmuto. My latest story on Hot Stove developments: https://t.co/844AJGINqf @MLB @MLBNetwork— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 16, 2018
Settling for less simply in order to slash salary has been the name of the game for Jeter ever since he took over as co-owner and CEO in Miami, so this would be a pleasant change. Realmuto will be 28 years old on Opening Day 2019, and given how mileage tends to ravage catchers first and foremost, the team has every reason to sell high on him now before he inevitably falls off.
And a package built around either Whitley or Tucker, both of whom are 21 years old and universally well-regarded around the league, is a great place to start.
Source: In trade talks, #Marlins continue to insist on Kyle Tucker or Forrest Whitley being part of any successful #Astros offer for J.T. Realmuto. My latest story on Hot Stove developments: https://t.co/844AJGINqf— Michael Clair (@michaelsclair) November 15, 2018
Given the Marlins' reported disinterest in dealing Realmuto within the NL East division, expect them to leave no stone unturned. And after a disappointing playoff crash out in their quest to defend the 2017 World Series title, expect the Stros to do whatever it takes to land one of the top players on the trade market, particularly after declining their option on veteran backstop Brian McCann.