J.T. Realmuto’s agent says he’ll be traded before the season
The Marlins are still a dumpster fire, and after trading most of their good players last year, it seems the transformation from quietly solid club after the 2017 season to totally stripped club after 2018 will be complete. Realmuto is easily the best player remaining in Miami, and after seeing all the talent exit town he has had enough. Now, the catcher wouldn’t have minded getting traded last year, but now he’s putting his foot down. As far as the Red Sox go, Realmuto will be at the top of many fans’ wishlists this year. Offensively, catcher is by far Boston’s worst position and this upgrade would be almost unfathomable. I don’t watch enough Marlins baseball (I don’t hate myself that much) to conform these numbers, but Baseball Prospectus’ catching metrics have him rated as a solid-to-good catcher depending on the year. Offensively is where the real production comes, though, and he’s coming off the best year of his career. He’s been an above-average hitter for three straight years, though, which is massive for his position. Unfortunately for Red Sox fans, I don’t think they have the headline piece to really compete in this trade market. Of course, Miami’s trades have seemed light in the past, so maybe Dave Dombrowski can sneak in here. Realmuto is entering his age-28 season and is under team control for two more years.
Joakim Soria and Mike Moustakas decline options in Milwaukee
The Brewers are coming off a thrilling year that saw them reach Game Seven of the NLCS before their season ended, and now they look to retool for 2019. A couple of their midseason trade acquisitions will be taking their talents elsewhere. Both Joakim Soria and Mike Moustakas had mutual options, and both declined their end of the deals. Now, in terms of the league as a whole Moustakas is the more exciting player. This will be his second straight year on the free agent market and he’s coming off another solid year. He also doesn’t have the qualifying offer attached to him this winter, which should help his market. He’s also of little interest to the Red Sox, who won’t be looking for third base help. Soria, on the other hand, could be an interesting name to watch. The former White Sox and Brewers reliever is going to be 35 next year so he won’t cost any sort of massive deal, but he’s a really solid back-end arm. If the Red Sox end up deciding they want a new closer from outside the organization, Soria could be one of those non-elite options that would be attractive.
Hanley Ramirez wants to play again in 2019
I am an unabashed Hanley Ramirez fan, so I’m really excited about this next bit of news. According to Jon Heyman, the former Red Sox first baseman/DH/left fielder/shortstop prospect wants to make a comeback in 2019. He, of course, started the 2018 season as their main first baseman — and will be getting a ring! — before getting released before the halfway point. It was a shocking move at that point in this year, but obviously things worked out. I was surprised Ramirez didn’t get a chance somewhere else during the season, but it’s possible he didn’t want a new job until spring training. Either way, I imagine as long as he’s in shape — and to be clear there’s no reason to believe he won’t be — someone will give him a chance on a cheap, one-year deal. Hey, the Red Sox might need a right-handed platoon bat if Steve Pearce signs elsewhere...