Phillies and Marlins complete Realmuto trade

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"I think J.T. Realmuto's the best catcher in baseball", general manager Matt Klentak said Thursday in a conference call.

The move is a bit surprising as it was assumed other Major League Baseball teams had maneuvered into position to make a deal, with the Dodgers, Padres, Reds, Rays, and Braves making their strongest offers in the past few days.

Realmuto, whom many consider the best catcher in baseball, is under contract for two more years.

Philadelphia, still pursuing free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, has bolstered its lineup with the additions of Realmuto, shortstop Jean Segura and 2013 NL MVP Andrew McCutchen.

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The Miami marlins needed to get their trade of J.T. Realmuto right.

To put it into perspective for Reds fans, it was essentially the equivalent of sending Tucker Barnhart, Nick Senzel, and a Top 25 pitching prospect to the Marlins for two years of J.T. Realmuto's services.

The reason for that is that the Marlins asking price has been extremely high, mainly because they are unhappy with the returns they got for the other stars they traded a year ago like Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna. From the Yankees, both catcher Gary Sánchez and third baseman Miguel Andújar in a bigger deal that might have included infielder Miguel Rojas and potentially another piece along with Realmuto if the talks had gained traction.

"He throws 100 miles per hour", said Michael Hill, Marlins president of baseball operations.

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The Phils were able to make a major upgrade without parting with a top prospect Sanchez is a promising prospect, but he has been recovering from an elbow injury and has yet to pitch above Single-A. All four National League East teams showed interest in Realmuto at some point over the a year ago.

That left the front office in a predicament with Realmuto. Losing him creates a void at the plate and defensively, while the Marlins still develop a youthful pitching staff that has many question marks heading into camp next week.

The Marlins finished last in the NL East past year with a 63-98 record. The Braves did not want to part with Ozzie Albies at it had once been reported. While he has not pitched above the High-A minors, the Dominican right-hander is just 20.

"Sanchez is the most well-regarded prospect in the deal, a 6-foot right-hander whose fastball sits in the high 90s and tops out over 100 miles per hour", Passan explained.

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