Dodgers Rumors: Is All-Star Catcher J.T. Realmuto on LA’s Radar?

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MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 4: J.T. Realmuto #11 of the Miami Marlins hits a home run in the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Marlins Park on September 4, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 4: J.T. Realmuto #11 of the Miami Marlins hits a home run in the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Marlins Park on September 4, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /
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The Dodgers are officially in need of a starting catcher after Yasmani Grandal declined the Dodgers’ qualifying offer.  One catcher from Miami would be a big catch for the Dodgers.

The MLB hot stove has kicked into full gear now that qualifying offers have been accepted or rejected and players are free to sign with new teams.  The Dodgers found out on Monday that Yasmani Grandal rejected the Dodgers’ qualifying offer which seals the end of his tenure as a member of the Dodgers.

On Tuesday, Peter Gammons reported that the team he keeps hearing for J.T. Realmuto is the Dodgers.  The fit is perfect as Realmuto is signed for two more seasons and the Dodgers need a short term catcher to bridge the gap to super prospect Keibert Ruiz.  The Dodgers also have two other catching prospects in Diego Cartaya and Will Smith who could interest the Marlins.

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A trade for Realmuto would be expensive, and likely cost the Dodgers a package like Caleb Ferguson, Will Smith, Gavin Lux, and Dustin May.  It would be an expensive price to pay but the Dodgers desperately need a catcher for 2019 and the free agent market only offers two plus hitting catchers in Wilson Ramos and Yasmani Grandal.  Both are looking for long term deals which is something the Dodgers don’t want to do with Ruiz a year or two away.

The All-Star Realmuto had another stellar season on a team that offered him no lineup protection this season.  J.T. hit .277 with 21 home runs and he brings a career .279 average along with him.  Realmuto will be 28 years old next season so he is in his prime and one of the best catchers in baseball at a team when there are very few elite catchers.

Although he has had reverse splits hitting right-handed pitching better, he would offer a better at-bat against lefties than what Yasmani Grandal gave the Dodgers.  Realmuto would also offer the Dodgers a little speed as he has stolen as many as 12 bases in one season.  There is also a good chance that J.T. hits better with better lineup protection against him.

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As soon as the offseason began the Atlanta Braves were linked to Realmuto but as of today the Dodgers are still in the conversation as Peter Gammons reported.  Catcher is one of the biggest question marks for the Dodgers this winter and landing a big fish in J.T. Realmuto would improve the Dodgers heading into the 2019 season.

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