Woo-hoo, we got some real, honest-to-god MLB transaction news to talk about! Hooray! After a long winter of drawn-out rumors, the Marlins have decided to trade top catcher J.T. Realmuto to the Phillies in exchange for an enticing if unproven bag of a few players and potential future players.
It was very stupid and frustrating of the Marlins to basically just give up on their 27-year-old best player, the best-hitting catcher in the league, but they’re the Marlins, and their apathy is the Phillies’ gain. In netting Realmuto, who is under team control for two more years, the Phills give up a young catcher of their own in Jorge Alfaro, who in one full season showed himself as a below-average hitter but a very good defensive player. Sixto Sanchez has a badass name and was reportedly a must if the deal was going to go through. He’s 20 years old and was the Phillies’ top prospect, and even though he’s battled injuries already and hasn’t yet pitched beyond A ball, he immediately becomes the most promising young pitcher in the Miami system. Will Stewart, also a pitcher way down in the farm system, is far less dazzling than Sanchez, and he’s more-or-less a random throw-in.
Even with the future promise of Alfaro and Sanchez, this should have been a no-brainer trade for Philadelphia. With Realmuto behind the plate, the Phillies are at most just one marquee free agent signing away from becoming the clear favorites in the NL East, and they’re suddenly an even more attractive destination for Machado or Harper. This trade is a punt for the Marlins and a deep throw down the field by the Phillies. One of those things is a hell of a lot more fun than the other.