More than 10 teams have contacted the Marlins inquiring about a trade for catcher J.T. Realmuto and conversations are ongoing.
Discussions are expected to intensify at next week’s winter meetings in Las Vegas.
Realmuto’s agent, Jeff Berry, has publicly said that Realmuto would like to be traded. And while the Marlins haven’t said if they will trade Realmuto, Marlins CEO Derek Jeter said last winter that the team generally doesn’t like to keep players who don’t want to be here.
Per Sirius XM’s Craig Mish, Realmuto rejected two contract extensions from the Marlins: four year, $43 million in July and another offer, soon after, for five-years, $61 million, with a $15 million sixth year option.
Realmuto’s camp did counter with an offer and then pulled it off the table and never returned with another counter-offer, instead asking for a trade. Per a source, Realmuto requested a deal comparable to Buster Posey’s eight year, $159 million contract with the Giants.
The Marlins did not make another offer after the season in part because Realmuto’s camp took their offer off the table.
The Mets are among teams “pushing hard” for Realmuto, according to Sirius XM’s Jim Bowden.
Michael Hill, the Marlins’ president/baseball operations, shed no light on the Realmuto situation in a conference call with reporters on Wednesday.
MARLINS FILL COACHING STAFF
The Marlins filled out their coaching staff on Wednesday with four hires including new pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr., who replaces Juan Nieves.
Also hired: Trey Hillman, who replaces Perry Hill as first base/infield coach; Jeff Livesey, who succeeds Frank Menechino as assistant hitting coach and Kevin Barr, who takes over for Ty Hill as strength and conditioning coach.
Returning are Tim Wallach (bench), Mike Pagliarulo (hitting), Fredi Gonzalez (third base), Dean Treanor (bullpen), Brian Schneider (catching) and Rob Flippo (bullpen coordinator).
Stottlemyre, 54, was the Mariners’ pitching coach the past three years. During those years, Seattle ranked sixth in the American League in team ERA (4.19) and batting average against (.253).
Hillman was Mattingly’s bench coach with the Dodgers from 2011-2013 and was the Royals manager from 2008 through May of 2010, going 152-207.
Livesey was the Pirates’ assistant hitting coach the past five years.
THIS AND THAT
Martin Prado, who ended the season on the disabled list with a right abdominal strain after two injury-plagued seasons, is not showing any symptoms and should be able to start spring training on time barring a setback, Hill said.
Pitcher Caleb Smith, who missed the final three months of last season with a lat sprain, also is healthy, Hill said, “but we will be conservative with him.”
Cooper, recovering from hip surgery, should be fine for the starting of spring training.
Pitcher Pablo Lopez, who sat out the final month of the season to rest a tired arm, is fine and will be ready for the start of spring training.
▪ Hill said the Marlins will explore adding a veteran reliever, but not necessarily a closer. The Marlins traded Brad Ziegler in July and Kyle Barraclough in October.
Hill listed Peter O’Brien, Garrett Cooper, former Pirates slugger Pedro Alvarez (a non-roster invitee) and Prado as first base options but didn’t rule out an acquisition there.
Hill indicated no urgency to add a starting outfielder, after designating Derek Dietrich for assignment.
“The outfield situation, we like the candidates we currently have in-house and on the roster,” Hill said, “between Lewis Brinson and Austin Dean and Garrett Cooper. We worked Peter O’Brien in the outfield and Isaac Galloway and Magneuris Sierra. As we continue in the offseason, we are still looking at improving our offense. That’s our primary focus this offseason adding to that. It’s ongoing. Not sure if we’ll have a Cameron Maybin-like veteran but we haven’t gotten to Las Vegas yet. And so we will see where that leads us.”
Here’s part 1 of my 2 part series with David Samson’s tell-all interview with The Herald and Dan Le Batard.
Check back Thursday for part 2.