Seemingly not finding the right deal for them, the Marlins finally pulled the trigger when the Phillies offered catcher Jorge Alfaro, pitching prospects Sixto Sanchez and Will Stewart, and a reported $250,000 in worldwide spending bonus money.
The Philadelphia Phillies made a major move towards contending for a playoff spot on Thursday, acquiring catcher JT Realmuto from the Miami Marlins in exchange for three players and an worldwide bonus slot.
Phillies general manager Matt Klentak had high praise for Realmuto after the acquisition.
In the end, it was the Marlins who stood firm in their desires in a trade, What started out with as many as 12 teams looking to play "Let's Make A Deal" the demand of Major League Baseball players prospects appeared to be too high for one player.
Long, long, long, long trade story short: when Realmuto is finally moved, I expect some other things will shake out relatively soon thereafter.
The Marlins got the deal done six days before their pitchers and catchers report to spring training. Miami, under the new ownership of Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman, created a firestorm of controversy by trading Dee Gordon, Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich last offseason. "But our goal is to build a long-term sustainable championship organization".
Even as the Harper and Machado sweepstakes lurch into their fourth months - with numerous usual, big-money suspects (Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs) apparently taking a pass, and the void filled with some dark horses and mystery teams (Chicago White Sox, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants) - much of the industry takes it as an inevitability that the Phillies will walk away with one of them.
The Phillies have been busy this offseason, adding Andrew McCutchen, David Robertson and Jean Segura in addition to Realmuto. The Phillies went 80-82 a year ago and should be much improved in 2019, especially if they can sign either Harper or Machado on the back of their other upgrades. They led their division with the second-best record in the NL one week into August, then went 16-33 over the final 49 games and finished with a losing record (80-82) for the sixth consecutive season. They gave up, arguably, the best catcher in baseball but they are acquiring exacting what a team rebuilding needs to be acquiring: A future ACE! Alfaro, 25, is an adequate starting catcher. He hit.262 with 10 homers in his first full major league season previous year and showed a strong arm, but had 11 errors and 10 passed balls. The lefty posted a 2.09 ERA in 20 starts in single-A last season with a fastball that sits around 93 and three offspeed pitches.
"In Sanchez, we saw a front-of-the-rotation starter".
Realmuto was a first-time All-Star in his fourth season past year.