MIAMI -- While Atlanta has continued to be linked to J.T. Realmuto rumors, a source said Saturday night the Braves exited the Winter Meetings with the understanding there will not be any further reason for them to discuss trading for the Marlins' All-Star catcher.Though the Braves signed Brian McCann in
MIAMI -- While Atlanta has continued to be linked to J.T. Realmuto rumors, a source said Saturday night the Braves exited the Winter Meetings with the understanding there will not be any further reason for them to discuss trading for the Marlins' All-Star catcher.
Though the Braves signed Brian McCann in November, they continued to monitor Realmuto's market just to get a sense of what it might eventually take to land the coveted catcher. But the source indicated the Braves and Marlins have not had any discussions since Tuesday, which was the second day of the Winter Meetings.
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Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos voluntarily chose to attend Liberty Media budget meetings in Denver on Wednesday. The meetings had been scheduled for more than a month and Anthopoulos went to the Winter Meetings with the assumption he would make an early exit from the four-day event. But he would have likely stayed in Las Vegas had he been involved in serious negotiations regarding Realmuto or any other potential target.
The Braves pursued Realmuto last offseason, before this year's Trade Deadline and at the beginning of this offseason. But once the Marlins asked for Ozzie Albies and made it clear they would need at least one high-value MLB-experienced asset in return, the Braves moved forward by signing McCann to a one-year, $2 million deal.
Because of the small financial commitment attached to McCann's deal, the Braves have some wiggle room to alter their current plan to open the season with Tyler Flowers and McCann serving as their catching duo.
With the division rival Mets standing as one of the teams making a strong push for Realmuto, it made sense for the Braves to at least continue to monitor whether they could eventually strike a deal with a package that included some of the top prospects from their talent-filled farm system.
The Braves have the capability of providing a rich, prospect-laden offer. But for now, it appears they have turned their attention away from Realmuto.
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.