Dodgers: One Team Won the Off-Season; It Wasn’t the Dodgers

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 16: Bryce Harper #34 during the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Nationals Park on July 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 16: Bryce Harper #34 during the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Nationals Park on July 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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HIROSHIMA, JAPAN – NOVEMBER 13: Catcher J.T. Realmuto #11 of the Miami Marlins grounds out in the bottom of 6th inning during the game four between Japan and MLB All Stars at Mazda Zoom Zoom Stadium Hiroshima on November 13, 2018 in Hiroshima, Japan. (Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images) /

Trade for J.T. Realmuto

This was the move every Dodger fan wanted before rumors of obtaining Harper and Kluber began to surface. Realmuto would have filled the Dodgers most obvious need: Catcher.

The All-Star catcher’s price ballooned beyond what even the All-Star Marlins Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, and Marcell Ozuna brought back. Realmuto cost the Phillies a lot, but he is the consensus best catcher in the game today, and his price was commensurate with his value.  The Dodgers should have paid it.

Realmuto to the Dodgers would have made tons of sense. He hits for average and power, he is not a defensive liability and he can even steal bases. In his four big league seasons, Realmuto hit 10+ home runs in each, finishing with a career-high 21 last season, to go along with three seasons of hitting above .270 and stealing 8+ bases, both of which things Yasmani Grandal never could provide the Dodgers.

Over the last three seasons, the 6’1 catcher amassed a WAR of 12.3. To put that in a league context, Buster Posey has accumulated 10 WAR over the last three seasons and Grandal 9 WAR.

All of this is to say that Realmuto’s price was exorbitant by the end, but the Phillies took the initiative to try and win sooner rather than later, and as the Dodgers’ window inches closer and closer to slamming shut, missing on this game-changing talent behind the plate could be looked back upon in retrospect as the Dodgers’ biggest mistake this offseason.

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