On Thursday, the Philadelphia Phillies acquired catcher J.T. Realmuto from the Miami Marlins in exchange for international bonus pool money and three players: catcher Jorge Alfaro and pitching prospects Sixto Sanchez and Will Stewart.
To help make better sense of the trade, we decided to ask prospect expert Christopher Crawford for his thoughts on the Marlins’ package. You can follow Crawford on Twitter by clicking here, and you can read his work on Rotoworld. In the past, Crawford has wrote for Baseball Prospectus and ESPN, among other places.
Let’s get to it.
Did the Marlins get fair value for Realmuto?
I think so. If you’re going to deal someone as good and inexpensive as Realmuto, you better get some upside and floor, and I think the Marlins accomplished that. I think expectations were set a bit high based on the prospects the Marlins were asking for, but It’s tough to imagine that they could get much more than this. That’s not to say that the Phillies overpaid — on the contrary — but I think both teams come out well.
How does Alfaro stack up to Realmuto?
Alfaro was an upper-echelon catching prospect for a while, but it’s fair to say that the flaws in his game are going to keep him from ever being one of the best at his position. He can still help, however; there’s plus power, he has a cannon for an arm, and he makes a decent amount of hard contact. He just doesn’t have the approach at the plate necessary to take that next step. As long as he stays behind the plate, he should be a solid starter. If the discipline ever came, it could be more, but it’s tough to project it now.
What’s the book on Sanchez?
Sanchez has the stuff to pitch at or near the top of the rotation. Despite his small stature he can get his fastball into triple digits with some movement. He also has a plus breaking ball, and his change flashes above-average, although it’s the weakest of the three offerings. He should throw enough strikes to be a starter, but he’s battled injuries, and his size might suggest a move to the bullpen. He could be dominant there, but the Marlins should give Sanchez every chance to develop into a well-above-average starter
Stewart is sort of the enigma to this deal. He’ll never be overpowering, but he throws a lot of strikes with a low 90s fastball, and he has two different changeups; the circle-change being his out pitch. He has a high floor because of his command, but there might be more upside here than expected considering he’s still just 21. It’s a very solid third piece.
Where do these prospects rank in the Marlins system?
I would rank Sanchez easily at the top of the Marlins’ list — that’s not saying much, this system still has a lot to be desired — and I would put Stewart in the top 10, probably in the eighth or ninth spot.
Do the Phillies have enough left to make another big deal?
Probably depends on your definition of a “big” move. They could headline a deal with Alec Bohm, and arms like JoJo Romero and Adonis Medina would certainly draw interest. The system really took a hit with this move, however, and another deal like that would put them in the bottom third. It’s not barren, but, it’s closer to empty than full.