Dodgers: Catcher Upgrades the Team Should Target

jrudner
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 15: Yasmani Grandal #9 of the Los Angeles Dodgers chases a wild pitch that allowed Travis Shaw #21 of the Milwaukee Brewers (not pictured) to score in the sixth inning in Game Three of the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium on October 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 15: Yasmani Grandal #9 of the Los Angeles Dodgers chases a wild pitch that allowed Travis Shaw #21 of the Milwaukee Brewers (not pictured) to score in the sixth inning in Game Three of the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium on October 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Dodgers
MIAMI, FL – SEPTEMBER 4: J.T. Realmuto #11 of the Miami Marlins hits a home run in the eighth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Marlins Park on September 4, 2018, in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

There is perhaps no choice more obvious or desired than 27-year old catcher, JT Realmuto. Realmuto, a veteran of five years, has quickly become what many people are calling “the best young catcher in the game”.  Offensively speaking, they are totally correct.

Over the last three seasons, Realmuto has been a bright spot for a Miami team struggling to find stars that want to stay there. Over that stretch, the young catcher has hit a combined .286 with 49 home runs (21 of them in 2018) and an OPS+ of 118.

In addition to his obvious ability to hit the ball, Realmuto’s youth makes him an attractive trade candidate for a Dodger team that is always working to get younger without losing talent.

Before we get into the possible cost, Realmuto does have defensive issues that require mentioning. Last season, Realmuto allowed just one less passed ball than Grandal did but, unlike Grandal’s DRS of 9, Realmuto’s was an abysmal  -7. So if the goal is to improve defense behind the plate, Realmuto is far from the solution.

But, a bat with a catcher is rare today and the combination of that, his contract and his age would drive the price through the roof. The Dodgers could probably expect to lose one of Alex Verdugo, Keibert Ruiz, Will Smith, Dustin May or DJ Peters. Beyond that, we would just be speculating but the return for Realmuto would be huge. The issue, however, is it might just be worth it. Realmuto is at the top of the list for catching targets.

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