It took longer than expected, but the Miami Marlins finally traded J.T. Realmuto, sending the All-Star catcher to the Philadelphia Phillies and setting his new team up for a blockbuster winter haul.
A person with with direct knowledge of the trade confirmed the Phillies have acquired Realmuto. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not yet been announced.
And the Phillies very much remain in the hunt for either Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, the 26-year-old generational talents who remain on the free agent market. They met with Machado in Philadelphia and Harper in Las Vegas this off-season.
In exchange, the Marlins will receive right-hander Sixto Sanchez, catcher Jorge Alfaro, lefty-handed pitching prospect Will Stewart and international bonus slot money. Sanchez, 20, is the Phillies' top prospect and ranked No. 34 in USA TODAY Sports' Names to Know in 2019. Alfaro, a power-hitting 25-year-old, had 10 homers in 344 at-bats for the Phillies in 2018.
Realmuto, 27, is one of the game’s best all-around backstops and set a career high with 21 home runs in 2018, winning the Silver Slugger award. He led all qualified catchers with a .277 average, .484 slugging percentage and .825 OPS last season.
Many expected Realmuto to be unloaded last offseason when the Marlins had a fire sale that saw the departure of Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and Dee Gordon.
Realmuto is the fourth major addition this offseason by the Phillies, who also signed free agents outfielder Andrew McCutchen and reliever David Robertson and traded for shortstop Jean Segura.
Realmuto will make $5.9 million in 2019 and can become a free agent after the 2020 season.
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