J.T. Realmuto traded to the Phillies
Well, it’s done. Much of this offseason has been dominated by talk of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, but J.T. Realmuto was not far behind them in terms of intrigue on the rumor mill. The best catcher in baseball last year, and perhaps the best in the game moving forward (though I’m less confident in that than others seem to be), the former Marlins backstop has been presumed gone since before the offseason even began. We’ve heard rumor after rumor and potential landing spot after potential landing spot. Finally, the Phillies paid up to the Marlins’ high asking price and a deal got done. In exchange for the catcher, the Phillies gave up top prospect Sixto Sanchez, young catcher Jorge Alfaro, minor-league pitcher Will Stewart, and international signing money.
For the Phillies, the motivation is obvious: They get a very good player in his prime at a tough position to fill. Realmuto is under control for two more years, and the Phillies are clearly pushing their chips in to win big and win now. They paid a huge price to get it, and I’m not sure I’d rather pay that price for Realmuto than simply pay money for Grandal. That being said, there’s clearly more upside with this play. For this to make the most sense for the Phillies, they have got to continue to push all-in now. If they stop here, this move makes no sense. If it’s paired with at least one of Harper and Machado signing as well as someone like Craig Kimbrel, then all of a sudden the Phillies are among the favorites in the National League.
As for the Marlins, there haven’t been a lot of reasons to compliment them in recent years, but they played this one well. Miami never budged from their high asking price and didn’t panic with spring training bearing down on us, and they got a big package in return. There is some disagreement in how well Miami did here, but I’d be psyched as a Marlins fan. Sanchez is one of the best pitching prospects in baseball, with some delivery questions but huge stuff. Alfaro does strike out a ton and is a little rough, but he was solid in his first taste of the majors and gives the Marlins a guy who can play behind the plate for a few years at least. There’s plenty of upside there, too. Realmuto was always going to go, but Miami got two potential building blocks along with an intriguing young pitcher and some help on the international market.
Legend Frank Robinson passes away
Shortly after that big trade went through, we got some bad news for the entire baseball world. One of the game’s legends, who touched so many in the game in so many different ways, Frank Robinson passed away. Robinson was, of course, a Hall of Fame outfielder for the Reds and Orioles who won MVPs in both leagues. Along with being a legendary player, he became the first African-American manager in league history, with his last stint coming with the Expos/Nationals in the mid-aughts. Robinson made his post-playing career legacy on making the game more accessible for African-Americans in this country, and he is going to be greatly missed around the game.
Disabled List name changed to Injured List
Not much else to say here. It’s not really a distinction most of us would think of too much, but good on MLB for listening to people who did find the terminology unnecessary. People will complain about this because people will complain about everything, but it doesn’t matter. Yes, many of us will call it the DL for a while longer because we struggle to change. That doesn’t make it dumb. It makes us dumb.