Time for a report that’ll give you quite a few moments of what the what:
I’m unclear what level of interest the Cubs have in Realmuto but they do. Sources have indicated to me they could move on from Contreras as well.
— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) November 30, 2018
So, one thing to note up front: Craig Mish has historically been very solid on Marlins rumors and reporting. So, to the extent he’s saying he’s heard via credible Marlins sources that the Cubs are interested in trading for JT Realmuto, then I believe he’s heard it.
To be sure, that’s not quite the same thing as me saying I buy that they are seriously interested in trading for Realmuto at the expense of Willson Contreras. Admittedly, Contreras is coming off a down year, but he remains incredibly talented, tremendous defensively, huge upside offensively, and very cheap.
The Marlins are obviously going to trade Realmuto this offseason, and, having emerged as one of the best – if not the best – catchers in baseball, they’re going to get a haul for his two final years of team control. The 27-year-old does everything well, and has put together three straight huge seasons, culminating in last year’s breakout at the plate (.277/.340/.484, 126 wRC+).
Would you want Realmuto to be your catcher? Of course. Would you trade four years of Contreras (and probably more) for two years of Realmuto? That’s a tougher question. A much tougher question than I’m prepared to answer in this typing-from-the-seat-of-my-pants moment. Should this emerge as an actual thing, of course, I’ll dig in more.
In the meantime, I will be skeptical about the Marlins’ intentions here. Are they trying to massage the Realmuto market a bit to get what they want in prospects from elsewhere? Because with the Cubs, you certainly aren’t going to get that perfect haul of prospects (which is partly why a name like Contreras’s would come up). Are the Cubs happily trying to push up the price tag on other teams?