Marlins exec hints at high price for Realmuto
President of business operations: 'It's going to take a lot to get J.T. out of this organization'
MIAMI -- Business and baseball intersected on Thursday night at Marlins Park, when Marlins president of business operations Chip Bowers addressed a gathering of business partners and season ticket holders.
In a brief Q&A session, Bowers touched on the potential trade status of All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto, as well as the possibility of the organization bringing the color teal back to its uniform scheme.
As part of the team's Baseball to Business Program, Bowers spoke for 15 minutes before the Marlins faced the Nationals in the series opener. The "B2B" initiative aims to connect the club to the Miami business community, as well as community leaders and season ticket holders.
In his first season with the organization, Bowers noted that he is not part of baseball operations. That department is headed by president of baseball operations Michael Hill and Gary Denbo, the team's vice president of player development and scouting.
Realmuto has been the subject of trade speculation as Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches. Internally, the Marlins have already discussed signing Realmuto, who can't be a free agent until after the 2020 season, to an extension in the offseason.
"I don't oversee baseball operations, but I appreciate the conversation," Bowers told the crowd. "I think it starts with making sure that J.T. knows what we're trying to build here. I will tell you firsthand that he's become a real leader in the locker room. That doesn't go unnoticed."
Teams like the Nationals have expressed interest in Realmuto, but the Marlins' asking price is extremely high.
"There's a lot of interest in J.T.," Bowers said. "We have a strategy, and part of that strategy is winning the World Series. If he is a part of that, that would be fantastic. We obviously know that he is one of the best players in baseball. It's going to take a lot to get J.T. out of this organization. I don't think we would make a deal unless we felt like it was going to [help] win a World Series, just as much it would if we kept J.T. Realmuto. He's certainly a great guy. We're excited about the fact that he represented us in the All-Star Game."
Another hot topic was the fans' desire to bring back teal uniforms. The Marlins are celebrating their 25th anniversary season, and earlier in the year the players wore throwback, teal-trimmed jerseys.
"We got great responses from the 25th anniversary weekend," Bowers said. "We know there are a lot of fans who love the teal. One thing we did recognize is, we have not done a good job carrying enough of the teal in the retail outlets. That will change. From a retail perspective, you're going to see a lot more teal in the retail stores moving forward. We're committed to that."
As for changing the uniforms next year, Bowers noted: "We have not moved on a uniform strategy yet."