It might not be Bryce Harper or Manny Machado yet, but the Philadelphia Phillies have joined the Philadelphia 76ers in making blockbuster trades this week.
According to Jim Bowden of The Athletic, the Phillies traded top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez, catcher Jorge Alfaro, and minor league pitcher Will Stewart to the Miami Marlins in exchange for 27-year-old All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto.
In addition to those players, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic added that the Marlins will also be receiving an international bonus slot.
Throughout this offseason, the Marlins were hell-bent on not dealing the All-star catcher to a division rival as both the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves entered negotiations with Miami.
As one of the earliest teams linked with Realmuto, the Mets made substantial progress before talks broke down. The Marlins were looking to get an elite pitcher like Noah Syndergaard out of New York.
Before the Phillies got involved, the Marlins were also in substantive talks with the Cincinnati Reds according to MLB. com’s Joe Frisaro.
Along with the Reds, the Marlins also spoke with the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, and Tampa Bay Rays.
Realmuto is one of the best offensive catchers in baseball over the last few seasons, which will give the Phillies’ batting order a supreme boost. Last season with the Marlins, the 27-year-old had a slash line of .277/.340/.484 with 21 home runs and 74 RBIs.
When you compare his stats to Alfaro (.262/.324/.407, 10 HRs, 37 RBIs), it is clear to see what the Phillies wanted. In addition to his production at the plate, Realmuto is a pretty good defensive catcher.
Last season, he had a .992 Fld% with eight passed balls and a caught stealing percentage of 38. Passed balls and wild pitches were something Alfaro had issues with, hence why the Phillies acquired veteran Wilson Ramos at the trade deadline.
What also makes this a good deal for the Phillies, who are obviously signaling to the rest of baseball and their fans that they are ready to win now, is Realmuto’s contract.
The Oklahoma native is only making $5.9 million this upcoming season and is not scheduled to hit free agency until 2021. However, he is arbitration eligible in 2020, but by that time the Phillies might sign him to an extension.
On the other end of this spectrum, the Phillies gave up their top prospect in Sanchez.
Throughout the offseason and last season, we saw Philly was reluctant to move the 20-year-old starting pitcher. Instead, we’ve reportedly heard them float starting pitcher Adonis Medina’s name around in various trade rumors.
That being said, Sanchez is the better pitcher with a higher upside. And for a team such as the Marlins that is music to their ears as they continue their rebuild.
Last season in Class-A Clearwater, Sanchez posted a record of 4-3 with an ERA of 2.51. The flame-throwing pitcher also had 45 strikeouts in 46.2 innings pitched before being shut down due to elbow inflammation.