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Marlins intend to offer extension to Realmuto

Hill hoping All-Star catcher stays with Miami; coaching staff updates expected soon
October 3, 2018

MIAMI -- The Marlins are in the early stages of mapping out their offseason plan, but they have not changed their stance when it comes to All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto.At some point in the upcoming weeks, the organization intends to reach out to Realmuto and his representatives regarding a contract

MIAMI -- The Marlins are in the early stages of mapping out their offseason plan, but they have not changed their stance when it comes to All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto.
At some point in the upcoming weeks, the organization intends to reach out to Realmuto and his representatives regarding a contract extension. The big question is whether the 27-year-old wants to stay with Miami for another year or so of its rebuilding process.
"It's no secret, I think J.T. knows how we feel about him," Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. "He had a tremendous season, an All-Star season. It's great to see his talent finally being recognized throughout the industry. As I've I said consistently, we want him to be a part of what we're doing in the long term."
Realmuto has emerged as one of the best catchers in baseball. According to advanced metrics, he is among the most athletic at the position in the Majors. In 125 games, Realmuto had a slash line of .277/.340/.484 with career highs in home runs (21) and RBIs (74). His .825 OPS also is a career best.
Realmuto, who made $2.9 million this year, has two more seasons of arbitration, and he will be eligible for free agency after the 2020 season.

"At the appropriate time, we'll get to his representative and see if we can do something longer-term than the two years," Hill said. "That time hasn't happened yet, but it's something we definitely want to pursue."
The Marlins are coming off a 63-98 season, and they are continuing to build upward from the Minor Leagues. The optimism Hill is selling to players like Realmuto is that there are talented young pitchers throughout the organization.
"For any championship organization, for any championship team, you need to have the starting pitching," Hill said. "You need to have the starting pitching depth if you're going to be serious about competing. If you look at the growth of some of our young pitching, there's a lot of reasons for optimism and excitement."
The 2019 rotation projects to have hard-throwers Jose Urena, Sandy Alcantara and Pablo Lopez, along with depth from Trevor Richards and Wei-Yin Chen.
In the Minor Leagues, right-handers Nick Neidert, Zac Gallen and Jorge Guzman are going to be in Double-A or Triple-A next year, and they are getting closer to the big leagues.
"From that standpoint, there is a lot of reason for excitement, because you feel like you are lining up the pitching to compete with anybody," Hill said.
Hill addressed the media on Wednesday afternoon after speaking to the Miami Jackson Senior High baseball team at the school's auditorium. The Marlins donated baseball equipment -- collected from players and coaches -- to the Jackson baseball players.

"We're ambassadors of the game," Hill said. "When I was growing up watching this game, it started my spark, my passion to play the game. Anything I can do and our organization can do to promote this wonderful game, especially here at home -- and this is home -- I want to be part of it."
Worth noting
• While manager Don Mattingly will be back for the final year of his contract, the status of Marlins' coaching staff remains unclear. More on the coaches is expected next week, but on the final road trip, Hill updated the staff on what's next.
"We haven't told them anything yet," Hill said. "That's still in discussion. We told them we were starting to work through all the budget and administrative things that we need to start that process. Hopefully in the near future, we will get to all of our coaches and let them know what their futures are."
• As part of reshaping their amateur staff, the Marlins on Wednesday announced the hiring of Marti Wolever as senior advisor of amateur scouting, Mike Soper as regional supervisor and T.R. Lewis as special assignment scout.
• The Marlins have approved rookie outfielder Magneuris Sierra to play winter ball in the Dominican Republic.

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