The agent for J.T. Realmuto said the All-Star catcher won’t sign a contract extension with the Marlins and will “definitely” be playing elsewhere next season.
“I think he will definitely be wearing a different uniform by the start of spring training,” said Realmuto’s agent, Jeff Berry, in an interview Tuesday on MLB Network Radio.
The Marlins have been planning to offer Realmuto an extension that would keep him in Miami beyond the 2020 season when he becomes eligible for free agency.
But Realmuto, who asked for a trade last offseason when the Marlins were getting rid of their top players, apparently still wants out of Miami after the Marlins went 63-98 to finish with the worst record in the National League.
“J.T. has informed the Marlins’ ownership, he’s informed their front office, he’s not going to sign an extension in Miami,” Berry said. “It makes sense, when you have one of the more valuable trade assets in baseball, to move him. Period.”
Realmuto is under team control with the Marlins for two more seasons. But after establishing himself as one of the elite catchers in the majors, Realmuto would bring the Marlins a much greater return now than he would if they held on to him, likely commanding at least one or more top prospects in any deal.
Even keeping Realmuto wouldn’t come cheap for the Marlins, who are in a rebuilding phase. Realmuto would likely command an average annual salary of $20 million, perhaps as much as a five-year deal in the $100 million neighborhood.