Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: J.T. Realmuto.
- The Philadelphia Phillies and Miami Marlins agreed to a trade on Thursday that sent catcher J.T. Realmuto to the Phillies for four players.
- The Phillies, who had been as low as +1600 to win the World Series this offseason, moved to +1200 a few weeks ago thanks to Harper/Machado rumors and +1000 following the trade.
Though today is the NBA trade deadline, MLB wanted to get in on the action. With Derek Jeter’s Marlins clearly in full rebuild, they were finally able to reach a deal to trade their last truly valuable major league trade chip by sending catcher J.T. Realmuto to the Phillies.
In return, Miami will receive 25-year-old backstop Jorge Alfaro, who was in line to be Philly’s regular catcher, Sixto Sanchez, Philly’s top prospect and the No. 27 prospect in the MLB, Will Stewart and an international bonus slot. It’s a hefty haul, but the deal undoubtedly makes them much better for the time being.
Earlier in the offseason, the Phillies had been as low as +1600 to win the World Series, but that number had improved to +1200 before the trade thanks to Bryce Harper and Manny Machado rumors.
Following the deal, they moved to +1000 — second in the National League behind the Dodgers at +800. If they failed to acquire Realmuto or either mega free agent, you’d have likely seen their odds drop back to the +1600 range.
The Marlins remained a 150-1 longshot following the trade.
Realmuto is not a household name, at least in most households, but you better believe he’s one of the best catchers in baseball — if not the best. Last year, and over the past three seasons, he has been the best in terms of fWAR.
He set career marks in several categories in a stellar 2018 campaign that further built up his value:
- fWAR (4.8), wRC+ (126), home runs (21), RBI (74), OPS (.824)
Note that he also only played 125 games, so those counting stats could have been even higher.
This marks the third significant position player acquisition this offseason for the Phillies, as they already traded for Jean Segura and signed Andrew McCutchen.
They’d still like to land one of the superstars, too, which would make their lineup one of the best in the majors. Here’s what it could look like without Harper or Machado.
- Jean Segura – SS
- J.T. Realmuto – C
- Andrew McCutchen – LF
- Rhys Hoskins – 1B
- Odubel Herrera – CF
- Nick Williams – RF
- Maikel Franco – 3B
- Cesar Hernandez – 2B
Many folks in the industry also believe they’d like to sign another pitcher, too. They already signed David Robertson and have been linked to names such as Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel.
They’d find themselves among the World Series favorites if all of that fell into place, but who knows what will happen to close out this strange offseason.