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Inbox: What do Marlins seek in Realmuto deal?

Beat reporter Joe Frisaro answers fans' questions
December 17, 2018

What's the likelihood that the Marlins will get MLB-ready, young, controllable players for J.T. Realmuto, and who would it possibly be? -- @patrick_rotellaYou are hearing more about having at least one "controllable" MLB-ready or experienced player, because those types of players bring some certainty. Realmuto is an All-Star and is

What's the likelihood that the Marlins will get MLB-ready, young, controllable players for J.T. Realmuto, and who would it possibly be?
-- @patrick_rotella

You are hearing more about having at least one "controllable" MLB-ready or experienced player, because those types of players bring some certainty. Realmuto is an All-Star and is arguably the best catcher in the sport, and you want to make sure you are getting top value in return. That said, it's a matter of getting the best overall package. The Marlins are holding firm on their high demand. They've also made it clear they are prepared to retain Realmuto, although that seems unlikely.
• Decision on Realmuto enters critical stage
This will be a telling week, because the Marlins are engaged in talks with six to eight teams, including the Dodgers and Rays. The Mets are no longer in the mix after reaching an agreement with catcher Wilson Ramos. The Reds, Padres, Braves, Brewers and perhaps the Yankees and Angels could also be in the picture.
:: Submit a question to the Marlins Inbox ::
Do the Marlins have any secondary plans to bolster the shortstop position?
-- @Marleens12

Resolving the Realmuto situation is the top organizational priority. There's a chance that a shortstop could be included as part of a Realmuto package, but Miami is seeking its best overall deal.
Internally, the Marlins have Jose Devers, who turned 19 on Dec. 7. Devers reached Class A Advanced Jupiter, and he is regarded as the shortstop of the future. Devers, Miami's No. 13 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, also may wind up at second base. As for 2019, the Marlins appear committed to JT Riddle and Miguel Rojas sharing time at short.
Are the Marlins semi-set with Peter O'Brien at first base?
-- @thepackman321

O'Brien made a strong showing after being called up in September, batting .273 with four home runs and 10 RBIs in the final month. He will certainly get a shot to win the job in Spring Training, but there are no guarantees. Pedro Alvarez is a non-roster invitee who will get a look. Garrett Cooper also is a possibility. But I wouldn't be surprised if the Marlins target a left-handed-hitting option at first base in free agency. Riddle is the only lefty in the lineup.
With all the young players the Marlins will have in 2019, who can be brought in to serve as a veteran presence?
-- @rla1999

I don't necessarily think the Marlins need to add a veteran leader, because there are several players already on the roster who are just that. Third baseman Martin Prado is the consummate pro, and he is under contract next year. Rojas and second baseman Starlin Castro are veterans and quality teammates. Dan Straily assumes that role in the rotation. I could see the club getting a veteran relief pitcher to help handle high-leverage innings and be an influence on young relievers. More importantly than "leaders," the Marlins need impactful players.
Who is an under-the-radar prospect that you see making it to the big leagues sooner than anyone could predict?
-- Ben Q., Port Orange, Fla.

Right-hander Nick Neidert is Miami's No. 4 prospect, per Pipeline, and second baseman Isan Diaz is No. 9. Both could reach the big leagues at some point in the first half of the season. For those who follow the club closely, that isn't a surprise. Neidert and Diaz likely will open at Triple-A New Orleans.
A less-heralded name to watch in Spring Training is lefty reliever Jose Quijada, a 23-year-old who impressed at New Orleans in 2018. A native of Venezuela, Quijada was added to the 40-man roster this offseason, and he has a legitimate shot to make the Opening Day roster as a lefty specialist.

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