Are the San Francisco Giants Really Interested in J.T. Realmuto?
By Jeff Young
After a report that the San Francisco Giants have at least checked in on Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, we look at how that might fit for the club going forward.
One of the bigger San Francisco Giants related surprises this offseason was revealed Thursday when Jon Heyman said they checked in on J.T. Realmuto.
This was certainly surprising news to see as J.T. Realmuto is a catcher. And, he’s a very good catcher. However, the Giants already have a catcher named Gerald “Buster” Posey.
In case you did not know, Buster Posey had hip surgery recently. A surgery that may prevent him from being ready on Opening Day. Since he is a catcher and on the wrong side of 30, questions will remain as to how much longer he can continue the grind behind the dish.
Defensively, the hip did not appear to bother Posey. However, the hip injury clearly affected his swing. As a result, he only posted a 105 OPS+ in 2018, which is well below his career norm of 132.
This is where the Realmuto rumor becomes intriguing. The San Francisco Giants may want to begin the process of gradually reducing Posey’s workload behind the plate. This might be in his best interest as it may extend his career.
Realmuto offers strong offensive and defensive value. He just might be the premier catcher at the moment. He and Posey share a similar skill set.
Realmuto posted a 131 OPS+ last season, and appears to only be getting better. He has two years of control remaining, so a player of this makeup is going to cost any team a pretty penny.
The Giants really do not have the type of prospect package to offer the Marlins. If the Christian Yelich trade from last season serves as a loose template, then the Giants will need to trade at least three top-100 prospects.
However, the Giants do not have three top-100 prospects. And, the Marlins would probably seek Realmuto’s eventual replacement in return. So, any Realmuto trade with the Giants would likely start with top catching prospect Joey Bart.
Given the lack of talent in the farm system, it seems unlikely the San Francisco Giants would actually engage the Marlins in trade talks for Realmuto. This rumor is likely nothing more than kicking the tires.
Since Brian Sabean is no longer in charge, we will need a new phrase. Perhaps, Farhan Zaidi is just doing his due diligence, spitballing ideas, or creating smoke signals.