OK, So Now the Reds Are Trying to Get Realmuto

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OK, So Now the Reds Are Trying to Get Realmuto

Analysis and Commentary, MLB News and Rumors

I’ll admit that I was a bit confused when the Reds kept popping up in big-time rumors this winter (like their interest in Corey Kluber), but mostly because I saw 2020 and beyond as a better time to go big in free agency and trade – given their market, spending capabilities, and the general competitiveness of the NL Central in 2019 – than next year, in particular.

But the noise isn’t slowing down, and now they’re in play for another big addition:

Craig Mish is on top of everything Marlins and is usually quite dependable. If he’s hearing the Reds are in on J.T. Realmuto, they’re most likely in on J.T. Realmuto. But big deal, right? Lots of people are in on Realmuto and the Mets, Braves, and even the Phillies and Yankees each arguably have been better reasons to get him, right? Well, maybe, but, logically or not, the Reds are clearly climbing up the scale.

Two hours ago, Mish tweeted about where Realmuto is most likely to be on Opening Day and it looked like this: Braves (35%), Mets (35%), Yankees (10%), Phillies (10%), Astros (5%) and other teams (5%). But after hearing and reporting about the Reds interest, those odds have been updated quite dramatically:

Suddenly, the Reds are one of the most likely landing spots. And given consistent reports that the Mets have lost confidence in their ability to get Realmuto (and the chance that the other NL East teams were at least partly involved to ensure the price remained sufficiently high), I think it’s probably time to start taking the Reds seriously.

Indeed, Mish has even heard some of the names being tossed around, including top prospect Taylor Trammell (#17 prospect in baseball according to MLB Pipeline) and catcher Tucker Barnhart. Previously, we learned that the Marlins were looking to get a starting catcher (in addition to prospects) for Realmuto, so this foundation for a return actually feels very realistic. Plus, sure, Barnhart is no Realmuto, but he’s still only 27 and is an excellent defender behind the plate.

We’ll have to see if anything comes of this, but this sort of out-of-nowhere, momentum-moving rumor is often how things play out. A team like the Reds coordinates some moves, waits out a particular deal, finds the market for a certain player, and eventually swoops in quickly and decisively making big leaps all at once. I still think it’ll be difficult for them to be competitive in the NL Central next year, but you can’t rebuild forever. If they’re able to pull this off and coordinate a few other big, perhaps creative moves, well, the Cubs division is going to be very interesting next season. That’s for sure.

(Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images)

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Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @Michael_Cerami.