MIAMI (AP) — J.T. Realmuto wants to join the Miami Marlins’ exodus.
The three-year veteran catcher requested a trade in the wake of the team’s latest payroll purge, a person familiar with the situation said Monday. The person confirmed Realmuto’s request to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Marlins didn’t comment.
The person said Realmuto’s agent told the Marlins a trade would make sense for the rebuilding team because of his high market value.
This month the Marlins have traded major league home run champion Giancarlo Stanton, All-Star left fielder Marcell Ozuna and major league stolen base champ Dee Gordon. The franchise is reducing payroll and rebooting under a new ownership group that includes Derek Jeter.
Realmuto hit .278 with 17 homers this year and is regarded as one of the best young catchers in the majors. He’s eligible for arbitration for the first time after making $562,500 this year, but won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2020 season, which makes the Marlins reluctant to part with him.
Realmuto could bring a windfall in prospects, and the Marlins are anxious to build up a farm system that has been ranked among the worst in the majors.
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