With less than a week to go until pitchers and catchers report, there are still numerous big-name players who need to find homes for the upcoming season. Technically, Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto already has a team. Yet his time with the Marlins has been nearing its end for more than a year, and it appears we could see a resolution to his situation within the week.
Per MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro, Miami is pushing to complete a trade for Realmuto before camp opens on Feb. 13. In fact, Frisaro notes, the Marlins would ideally have a deal in place ahead of Saturday’s FanFest event, which Realmuto (and everyone else on the 40-man roster) would be required to attend.
Of course, the Marlins aren’t willing to take a deal just to take one — not this winter, anyway — and it’s possible the Marlins and Realmuto will have to endure what’s certain to be an awkward situation if he remains in town through Saturday or the opening of camp.
A source told MLB.com on Wednesday that Sanchez is viewed as a “must” to be included in a trade package for Realmuto.
Sanchez, 20, was recently ranked the 35th-best prospect in baseball by Keith Law thanks in part to “what might be the easiest 100 mph fastball in pro baseball.” Sanchez has displayed impressive control for such a young age, issuing fewer than two walks per nine innings for his career. He’s also tightened his slider, giving him a secondary offering of note. If everything clicks, he could develop into a frontline starter.
There are numerous downsides to Sanchez, however, beginning with his frame. He’s officially listed at 6-foot, but is believed to be smaller. Last season he was limited to eight appearances thanks to elbow inflammation, and a setback prevented him from partaking in the Arizona Fall League. There’s a real chance he ends up in the bullpen, albeit likely as a late-inning reliever.
That combination of upside and risk is sure to breed polarity. We know where the Marlins stand. Soon enough, we’ll get a good idea of how the Phillies weigh in.