The Los Angeles Dodgers need a catcher for the 2019 season and the latest Dodgers rumors indicate it could be the best catcher on the trade market.
Catcher Yasmani Grandal rejected the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ $17.9 million qualifying offer and has officially become a free agent. With the Dodgers’ catcher hitting the open market, the Dodgers rumors around the catching position have ensued.
Now, it is possible that the Dodgers and Grandal could work out a short two-year, or so, deal. However, with Grandal rejecting nearly $18 million in salary next season, the chances are that he will be heading elsewhere.
The Dodgers do not need to sign a catcher to a long-term contract and only need a viable option for a year or two. Los Angeles has one of the best catching prospects in all of baseball, Keibert Ruiz, looming.
Signing Grandal to a 3+ year deal would be silly.
With this in mind, Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto has become a popular candidate for Dodger fans to get excited over. Realmuto reportedly wants out of Miami and the Dodgers have space for him now behind the plate.
These Dodgers rumors have now picked up steam with MLB Network’s Peter Gammons reported on Tuesday that the Dodgers are the most interested team in the Miami Marlins catcher. No longer is this something to merely get excited about but an actual possibility that the front office could make come into realization.
When you survey the rest of the market, Realmuto really is one of few options that make sense for the Dodgers. Any of the viable everyday catchers are going to want a longer contract like Grandal and the trade chips are few and far between.
Francisco Cervelli might be the only real viable catcher to trade for other than Realmuto. The Dodgers could go this route if the front office is being cheap with prospects.
However, the Dodgers have the prospects to burn and can easily afford this deal with Miami. With arguably the deepest organizational talent at the catcher position, the Dodgers can afford to part ways with a great catching prospect without major repercussions.
Will Smith, who is the eight-best catching prospect on MLB Pipeline, is someone that the Dodgers can package the deal around. Package him with Dennis Santana (sixth-ranked in the organization) and Edwin Rios (13th-ranked in the organization) and the Marlins could have their highest bidder.
Some fans would want to avoid parting ways with Dennis Santana as he has seen big league time already. However, that only increases his stock in a trade and the Dodgers have such a surplus in starting pitchers.
It would better suit the Dodgers to get Realmuto in return for a package with Santana than it would be to have him pitch in AAA this season.
Rios is a power-hitting corner infielder that can be one of the pieces coming up to play either first or third base on the Marlins. On the Dodgers, he simply does not have room and he is big league ready.
No matter the asking price, unless it is abnormally high, the Los Angeles Dodgers will be able to match. Because of that, it looks like the Dodgers rumors around J.T. Realmuto are the real deal.