Great catch: Phillies get J.T. Realmuto in trade with Marlins

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If Miami were to trade the catcher to Philadelphia, starting pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez "must" be included in the deal, according to a report from MLB.com, which cites unidentified league sources.

The Phillies had the worst batting average in the major leagues previous year (.234) and were third in strikeouts (1,520). A rebuilding project for the perennial also-rans will probably continue for several years under CEO Derek Jeter, whose group bought the franchise after the 2017 season.

The Marlins had been talking for months with numerous teams about a Realmuto trade before deciding to send him to their NL East counterparts. That was part of the plan Michael Hill, president of baseball operations for the organization, spoke about at the Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas last month.

Realmuto led all catchers in slugging percentage (.825) and batting average (.277), was tied for third in RBIs and was fourth in home runs.

With Realmuto no longer available, the Dodgers seem poised to go into Spring Training with Russell Martin and Austin Barnes as their primary catchers.

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.

"In Sanchez, we saw a front-of-the-rotation starter. A pitcher who we think can develop and lead a championship rotation", Hill said. After Realmuto notched the go-ahead single in a Marlins victory over the Nationals last season, Harper declared, "If we had that guy, we would have won".

Klentak also his defense and impact on the clubhouse are also a plus.

"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. Alfaro won't be eligible for arbitration until the 2021 season and has five years of team control remaining. He will make $5.9 million in 2019, and he can become a free agent after the 2020 season.

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

In the end, it was the Marlins who stood firm in their desires in a trade, What started out with as many as 12 teams looking to play "Let's Make A Deal" the demand of Major League Baseball players prospects appeared to be too high for one player. They haven't had a winning season since 2009 and haven't been to the playoffs since winning the World Series in 2003.

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