The Mets have made one major league move this winter, but the roster gutting continues in Miami with J.T. Realmuto the latest name to surface
We’re starting to see the ripple effects of the Mets’ division rival’s roster purge in Miami. It’s now being reported by Craig Mish that catcher, J.T. Realmuto has requested a trade. This comes on the heels of recent news that Christian Yelich may be the next to be dealt.
The Marlins have already shipped off Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna, but the roster gutting may wind up being even deeper. The question becomes: do the Mets actually have a legitimate shot at pursuing Realmuto?
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Given the actions of the front office so far this winter, the answer would be a resounding “no.” The Mets did sign Anthony Swarzak to bolster the bullpen a bit, which on its own is a solid move. However, if that’s the only move of significance to come, then it becomes a massive disappointment in one of the more important off-seasons in recent memory.
Realmuto will come with a high price tag. He is under control for three more years before he becomes free agent eligible. At 26, he’s entering the prime of his career. Last season for the Marlins, Realmuto set career highs in homers (17), RBI (65), and runs (68). He also tied a career best in doubles (31). He also swiped eight bases in ten attempts after going 12-for-16 in that department last year.
All that adds to what should be a pretty healthy prospect haul in return. The Mets don’t have that. And going deeper, some of their top ranked pitching prospects are currently on the shelf. Thomas Szapucki and Anthony Kay are both rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. Kay, the Mets’ second first-round pick in 2016 has yet to make his professional debut.
The organization would have to get creative and perhaps involve a young major league guy as a centerpiece for any deal. Plus, it would still involve the Mets having to dip into an already fairly thin farm system. The deck is stacked against the Mets.
But the Mets’ ownership is putting themselves in this position. It’s more than fair to question if the effort is there to build a winning team. It’s one thing if the Mets do their due diligence, put a package together (in this case for Realmuto), and get beat by somebody else with a better offer. I could deal with that. But are the Mets actually going to make an effort when there are glaring opportunities to drastically improve this team?
Or will they settle more for what they have and hope for the best off a terrible season? It’s becoming more plausible that the latter scenario is the case.