With all the noise surrounding a potential trade involving Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, it would be a complete shock at this point if he wasn't dealt before the new season.
As it stands right now, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres are the frontrunners in a getting a deal done.
Realmuto talks are said to be gaining momentum, with the Dodgers and Padres believed most prominent in discussions at moment. LA has the need and the young players to trade (Verdugo, etc.) and is logical. Reds, Braves, Astros among others with interest.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 25, 2019
The Padres have the prospect capital to make any deal they want, but if you're the Dodgers, you cannot allow that to happen. A division rival cannot be allowed to swipe the All-Star backstop away.
Realmuto is the perfect piece for this Los Angeles team, and even though they have some catching talent on the brink of the big leagues in Keibert Ruiz and Will Smith and brought back veteran Russell Martin earlier this offseason, Realmuto is a major instant upgrade to an offense that could use another reliable bat.
If the Dodgers don't end up with Realmuto, it would be even worse if he landed elsewhere in the NL West. And to make matters worse, those same Padres are also one of the leading suitors for superstar free agent infielder agent Manny Machado.
If San Diego were able to land both Machado and Realmuto, they might be right in the thick of things in the division. The Dodgers must do everything possible to prevent that potential reality.
Acquiring an All-Star catcher, especially with the catching market as flat as it is, will cost the Dodgers a lot, but it will be well worth it for a club that is trying to reach the World Series for a third straight year.