Inbox: What's the best package for Realmuto?

Beat reporter Joe Frisaro answers questions from Marlins fans

November 26th, 2018

Why are the Marlins after outfielders in a trade for J.T. Realmuto? Isn't , Victor Victor Mesa and the future? -- @ProfessorXXX88
The answer is simple: You get the most impactful players you can, regardless of position. It could be a pitcher, infielder, catcher or outfielder. For a player the caliber of Realmuto, you are open to anything that produces the best overall package. If, let's say, the Astros are willing to part with outfielder , ranked by MLB Pipeline as the No. 5 overall prospect, you don't pass that up. Yes, the hope is Brinson, Mesa and Harrison all emerge as better-than-average players, but there is no guarantee. Also, not all players are on the same developmental timeline. Some progress more quickly than others, and some don't pan out at all. As you're seeing more of in the sport, you can never have enough depth. Let's be clear, too: The Marlins are not necessarily targeting outfielders for Realmuto. It's all about making the best deal. If the fit happens to be for an outfielder, it is something that should be pursued.
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Any word on a new TV deal? And what could it mean for those of us who don't live in South Florida? -- @patrick_rotella
The current FOX Sports Florida contract expires after the 2020 season, and there is no indication that the terms will change before then. I've heard the Marlins receive between $17 million and $20 million a year from local TV. That figure ranks last in the Majors, by a significant margin. By comparison, the D-backs reportedly signed a local TV deal in '15 that runs more than 15 years and is worth north of $1.5 billion. They get roughly $75 million a year.
I do anticipate the Marlins and FOX Sports Florida working out an extension, and I'm expecting a far more competitive local contract will get done -- one that will net the club around $70 million to $80 million annually.
What would that mean for those who do not reside in the South Florida market? That would be worked on in the details of the new contract. At this point, I couldn't give you an answer.
Is there any progress as far as the Marlins selling naming rights to Marlins Park? -- @PantrySecurity
Marlins Park opened in 2012, and the retractable-roof building has never had naming rights. I don't think that is going to change for at least another year or two. A more pressing issue is the local TV contract.
I could see a more serious push for a naming rights partner by 2020 or '21. The problem right now is the Marlins are still in the building process, and they are rebranding. As the product on the field improves, the organization hopes attendance and overall interest picks up. At that point, more corporate partners likely would be receptive to a naming rights agreement. It's a harder sell now, especially after losing 98 games in '18. The market still is in a "show me" stance.
Would the Marlins consider bringing back at the right price? -- @jason_beland
It seems highly doubtful because the Marlins are looking to get more athletic across the board. They mentioned as much when Bour was traded to the Phillies in August. Yes, Bour is a left-handed power threat and was popular with fans. But he struggled defensively and is slow on the bases, so they parted ways. I could see Bour signing with an American League club, where he would be a designated hitter candidate. Still, the Marlins are in the market for a first baseman. It's probably the position most in need with the Winter Meetings two weeks away.
What's the status of , who is coming off Tommy John surgery?
-- @MrPicoBoulevard

The Marlins claimed Fernandez off waivers from the Giants on Nov. 20 and added him to the 40-man roster. He underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in early April, and recovery time is about 12-14 months.
A hard-thrower who turns 23 on Dec. 5, Fernandez is an interesting bullpen candidate. Even though he missed all of 2018, his four-seam fastball averaged 98.4 mph and touched 103 mph in the Minors in '17. With that type of velocity, the Marlins will give him a shot to see if he can be an option for the late innings.
Something to consider: Fernandez has Rule 5 Draft status, meaning he has to stick on the active roster (or disabled list) for all of 2019. He can't be optioned. Barring any setbacks, I could see him on the active roster around June.