Marlins Demanding Prospect From Phillies In J.T. Realmuto Trade

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Reports emerged this morning that momentum was growing between the Phillies and Marlins on a deal to send star catcher J.T. Realmuto to Philadelphia.

Along with Alfaro, the Marlins acquired highly regarded pitchers Sixto Sanchez and Will Stewart.

Phillies general manager Matt Klentak offered his immediate take on the deal.

"I think this is another acquisition for our club this offseason that demonstrates our commitment to winning, and I would hope that demonstration would be appealing to potential free agents".

The J.T. Realmuto trade - one that has been in the works for months - is finally complete.

Even as the Harper and Machado sweepstakes lurch into their fourth months - with numerous usual, big-money suspects (Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs) apparently taking a pass, and the void filled with some dark horses and mystery teams (Chicago White Sox, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants) - much of the industry takes it as an inevitability that the Phillies will walk away with one of them. They bolstered their lineup earlier with the additions of shortstop Jean Segura and 2013 NL MVP Andrew McCutchen. The Phillies had the worst batting average in the major leagues past year (.234) and were third in strikeouts (1,520).

Alfaro is expected to replace Realmuto as Miami's starting catcher. The 20-year-old missed a majority of the 2018 season with elbow inflammation.

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Sanchez in 48 games over four seasons in the minors is 15-12 with a 2.48 ERA with 191 strikeouts in 221 1/3 innings. He also started 111 games behind the plate and earned his first All-Star nod.

He will also have a big impact on a Phillies' offense that was inconsistent last season.

Jorge Alfaro-25 years old, not arbitration eligible until 2021, and not projected to hit free agency until 2024-had a successful season last year for the Phillies.

"It's hard to acquire top players at any position, especially at the catcher position, and we knew if were going [add] J.T., we were going to have to give up some talent in return", Klentak said.

"I'd be lying if I told you we didn't think playing half his games in Citizens Bank Park would make him better", Klentak said.

The Marlins finished last in the NL East past year with a 63-98 record.