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Astros back in conversation for Realmuto

December 18, 2018

MIAMI -- While one potential landing spot came off the board for J.T. Realmuto, at least one serious postseason contender has resurfaced.According to a source, the Astros once again have had discussions with the Marlins for Realmuto. The Padres also remain in the mix, as do the Dodgers, Rays and

MIAMI -- While one potential landing spot came off the board for J.T. Realmuto, at least one serious postseason contender has resurfaced.
According to a source, the Astros once again have had discussions with the Marlins for Realmuto. The Padres also remain in the mix, as do the Dodgers, Rays and others. The Mets are no longer in the conversation, however, as they signed free-agent catcher Wilson Ramos to a two-year deal on Tuesday.
At this point, it's unclear if there is a front-runner to go through with a trade because there are so many teams still involved. Each has agreed to some pieces that would be included, but nothing has advanced to finalizing stages.
Early this offseason, the Astros were one of the more frequently mentioned teams in the mix for Realmuto. They added veteran catcher Robinson Chirinos on Dec. 6, and in recent weeks, they had fallen off the Realmuto radar.

Houston's top prospect, outfielder Kyle Tucker, remains a target for Miami. Ranked by MLB Pipeline as the No. 5 overall prospect, Tucker is a Tampa, Fla., native and a left-handed-hitting outfielder. Last year at Triple-A Fresno, the 21-year-old belted 24 home runs and notched 93 RBIs. He also appeared in 28 big league games for Houston in 2018.
Tucker may be expendable, however, since the Astros are in the process of finalizing a two-year contract with Indians All-Star outfielder Michael Brantley.
The Marlins are pushing to get resolution on Realmuto, and ideally, they would like something to get done before Christmas. But that isn't a firm deadline. Miami also is willing to stand pat and not force a trade if its asking price is not matched.
Realmuto is entering his second season of arbitration, and he isn't a free agent until 2021. Entering his prime, he has made a case for being the top catcher in the sport. The 27-year-old hit .277 with 21 home runs and 74 RBIs this season, and he became an All-Star for the first time.
The Marlins are looking for left-handed power to add to their lineup. Tucker, playing right field, would help fill a need, and that could allow Brian Anderson to move back to third base.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.