According to Thomas Harding of MLB.com, even though the Colorado Rockies have been among a few teams to “touch base” with the Miami Marlins about their All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto, they are not one of the frontrunners.
The Colorado Rockies are in desperate need to improve both their catching situation as well as their offense. They could improve both of those by acquiring JT Realmuto of the Miami Marlins.
However, it was reported by Thomas Harding of MLB.com on Saturday that while the Rockies have inquired on Realmuto with the Marlins, Harding says that the Rockies “may be long shots” at acquiring Realmuto due to other teams having better offers.
For Rockies fans, this is a disappointment as many were hoping that Realmuto may be on his way to Denver soon as the Rockies platoon of catchers all struggled mightily at the plate in 2018. Defensively, at least Tony Wolters was excellent (12 Defensive Runs Saved according to Baseball Reference). However, none of the rest of them (Chris Iannetta, Tom Murphy, and Drew Butera) were at or above league average.
Realmuto was slightly better than Iannetta defensively in 2018 (-7 DRS for Realmuto compared to -8 DRS for Iannetta) but his offense was 46 percent better by OPS+ as Realmuto’s was 131 and Iannetta’s was 85.
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Jim Bowden of The Athletic originally suggested that the Rockies would be a good fit for the All-Star catcher. He also proposed that right-handed pitcher Peter Lambert (the Rockies #3 prospect according to MLB.com) and Garrett Hampson (#4 prospect) could be the two pieces that could get Realmuto from the Rockies.
Personally, I think that deal should probably get the deal done. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Rockies had a lesser offer than that as they may not want to part with those two prospects, particularly Hampson as he may prove to be a vital piece for the Rockies in the near future with both the departure via free agency by DJ LeMahieu and Nolan Arenado only having one season left on his contract.
However, I would go for it as Realmuto would give the Rockies two years of control of a very good catcher. He would also significantly help the Rockies chances at returning to the playoffs for the third straight season in 2019.
And as Casey Stern of MLB Network says, “prospects are cool, parades are cooler” and Realmuto would bring the Rockies a better chance at winning the final baseball game of the year and bringing a parade to Denver in 2019…and two or three prospects (and ones that aren’t even your top two prospects) don’t bring that, at least on paper.