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Providing you with Realmuto updates on a daily basis as momentum builds toward a blockbuster deal."6:18 PM PT UpdateThe top seven suitors for J.T. Realmuto Dustin Pedroia Jersey , according to Jon Heyman: Dodgers, Mets, Padres, Astros, Phillies, Yankees and Braves. Long way to go to resolve this!6:07 PM PT UpdateMike Hill finally addresses this exciting situation (sort of):Uh...thanks?3:16 PM PT UpdateNo Realmuto deal is close, SiriusXM/Five Reasons Sports host Craig Mish reports. Though he notes that in ongoing talks between the Marlins and Braves, left-hander SeanNewcomb has been mentioned as a piece of the return package.That’s...odd. Newcomb flirted with a no-hitter in July, but otherwise struggled mightily to throw strikes late last season (3.90 ERA/4.14 FIP in 164.0 IP overall). Aside from Wei-Yin Chen, the Marlins have a deficit of lefty starting pitching candidates on their 40-man roster, so maybe that’s contributing to their interest?Entering his age-26 campaign, Newcomb does not profile as a headliner. Still, he’s a controllable player who shouldn’t be entirely overlooked.2:22 PM PT UpdateThe Marlins are well-stocked with outfield prospects already, but the 22-year-old AlexVerdugo would be a welcome addition anyway:Don’t overreact to Verdugo’s mediocrity at the plate in the big leagues (.240/.309/.360)—that comes from a microscopic 111-plate appearance sample size. MLB Pipeline considers him “one of the best pure hitting prospects in baseball” and No. 1 overall in the Dodgers organization.Brett Davis-USA TODAY SportsThroughout this process, the National League champs have seemed like a logical landing spot for Realmuto. Their longtime primary catcher YasmaniGrandal is a free agent and Austin Barnes suffered a big regression in 2018, casting doubt about his ability to handle an expanded workload.That being said, as included in Jon Heyman’s tweet Babe Ruth Jersey , the Dodgers have their hands in several different pots at the Winter Meetings. If Verdugo goes elsewhere in a different blockbuster trade, perhaps the Marlins would seek catcher KeibertRuiz as the centerpiece of their return package.9:47 AM PT UpdateConflicting with an earlier report from The Athletic, the Marlins have “slightly lowered” their trade demands since the 2018 season ended, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Sherman adds that the industry understands Miami’s urgency to make a move while the All-Star is so valuable, forcing Michael Hill and Co. to be more reasonable.The Mets privately feel that acquiring Realmuto is “a long shot” despite their new GM’s commitment to short-term roster upgrades. Sherman names free agent Martin Maldonado as an alternate target. The Marlins seek a controllable major leaguer like AmedRosario or BrandonNimmo to compensate for the lack of elite prospects in New York’s farm system.8:43 AM PT UpdateJon Heyman of Fancred weighs in on the opportunities for J.T. Realmuto to remain inside the NL East:It could prove to be a clever negotiating tactic—insisting that they’d rather have Realmuto outside the division, putting the onus on those rivals to change their mind with overwhelming packages.From prior to the Winter Meetings, here’s more coverage on the fits with the Mets and Braves:Although J.T.Realmuto has been on the trading block throughout 2018, the Marlins haven’t budged on their high asking price. That approach has made me uneasy at times, but according to multiple reports, it’s serving them well—he continues to draw interest from a wide variety of suitors.Sunday’s article covered several major developments to his market, so get caught up on that if you haven’t already.We lead off Monday’s coverage with a focus on one specific potential trade partner: the San Diego Padres. Jim Bowden was first to identify them as being involved in negotiations, with The Athletic’s Dennis Lin describing their interest in greater detail (subscription required):All talent evaluators agree: the Padres have built one of MLB’s best farm systems in terms of both high upside and depth. If general manager A.J. Preller is motivated, he should be able to outbid anybody for Realmuto. Aside from shortstop phenom FernandoTat铆s Jr., there are no untouchables.Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY SportsOn the other hand, the Marlins might feel reluctant to do business with Preller. His front office swindled them in 2016’s midseason trade that swapped FernandoRodney for ChrisPaddack. Of even greater concern, the teams were forced to rework a deadline deal when Preller provided faulty medical records for right-hander Colin Rea, whose elbow gave out during his very first appearance in Miami. Former Fish executive David Samson recently alleged rampant medical fraud in a tell-all interview on Dan Le Batard’s radio show (h/t Barry Jackson http://www.redsoxproshops.com/authentic-dustin-pedroia-jersey , Miami Herald).Early Monday morning, colleague Ken Rosenthal confirmed that the Marlins continue to hold firm on their sky-high asking price. “Koufax, DiMaggio and Ted Williams in return,” one of his club sources says jokingly.Every single day until the Marlins finally pull the trigger on a Realmuto trade, I’ll be publishing and updating an article like this. You can find them all here. The optimist’s preview of the 2019 Twins"As the season begins today, everyone is wondering how the season will go for the Twins this year. Will they be good? Will they be bad? Predictions and projections are being thrown out left and right. The Twins are in an exciting (some might say perilous) spot where things could easily go one way or the other this year. Either way, let’s just be glad they aren’t the Orioles. I’m not here to guarantee you that the Twins will win 100 games this year or make the playoffs. Your guess is as good as mine. However, let’s run through five things the hometown nine has going for them this year. 1. The Big Red Kasota Gold MachineThe 2019 Twins lineup could very well be the best offense fielded in Minnesota since the 2011 squad, which boasted Mauer, Morneau, Cuddyer, and Thome. This lineup is strong from top to bottom. Nelson Cruz is definitely the best DH we’ve had since Thome (who he’s probably better than). C.J. Cron will likely be the best run-producer at the traditionally powerful first-base position since Morneau was in his hey-day. Jonathan Schoop should be able to do a reasonable Brian Dozier impression (the non-washed-up version) at second base. Jorge Polanco doesn’t even have to improve on his 2018 numbers (though the potential is there) to be the best-hitting shortstop in Minnesota since 2001 Christian Guzman. Third base has long been the safe haven for light-hitting utility men for the Twins (besides a couple Trevor Plouffe years), but whether Miguel Sano is able to return to form or Marwin Gonzalez steps up, the hot corner will be no easy out for our opponents this year. Eddie Rosario has been the best bat on the Twins for a few years now and has showed no signs of dropping off. Buxton is forever a question mark in center, but if he does a reasonable 2017 impression he’ll be an outstanding player. Kepler is due for a big breakout, and has done nothing this spring to discourage those predictions. Jake Cave may not get on base or try as much as Robbie Grossman did, but he definitely swings with authority. Catcher may be the only hole in the lineup Bobby Doerr Jersey , as Jason Castro has not been much of a hitter lately. However, backups Garver and Astudillo know their way around the batter’s box pretty well. 2. Jose Berrios, La MakinaJose Berrios has a very good chance of filling the role of the long-awaited True Ace for the Twins. Not since Santana (Johan, that is) have we seen such nasty stuff along with a level head on the bump from our starters. Last year, at the young age of 24, Berrios broke the 200-strikeout plateau for the first time. We should look for him to build upon that number this year. Berrios has shown incredible drive to improve and a tireless work ethic. This kid wants to be the best there is, and he has the talent, head, and drive to accomplish that. 3. Nothing Falls but RaindropsThe 2019 Minnesota Twins, barring injuries, will have perhaps the very best outfield defense in baseball, outside of Boston. Playing Rosario, Buxton, and Kepler together is almost like having three centerfielders in the outfield. Rosario and Kepler have excellent range in the corners, and are experienced in handling the tricky corners of Target Field. Byron Buxton is one of the very fastest men in the MLB, and has added 21 pounds of muscle to his impressive physique. Instead of getting injured crashing into walls, the walls are going to get injured from trying to stop him. In all seriousness Jimmie Foxx Jersey , centerfield is where triples, and doubles, and singles, go to die at Target Field this year. You might want to lower your launch angle before sending one out to this trio. 4. T&T Firefighting DepartmentIn all honesty, there is many more bad things to say about the bullpen than good things this year. However, watch out for the duo of Trevor May and Taylor Rogers. The righty-lefty duo give the Twins a couple guys they can lean on to put out fires no matter who is at the plate. Trevor May leans on electric stuff and a hard fastball to put batters away to the tune of an absurd 12.8 strikeouts/nine innings in his last two active years. Taylor Rogers is a traditional lefty, leaning on a good sinker and a looping curveball to fool hitters - however, his 28-appearance streak of giving up no runs to end 2018 is anything but traditional. These two pitchers have the flexibility and talent to become a force putting out fires in high-leverage moments for the Twins. 5. Wild Wild WilliansOf course this article was always going to include La Tortuga. Has Astudillo ever spent a full season on a Major League club that wasn’t good? That would be a no. The man doesn’t strikeout, doesn’t walk, and doesn’t lose. All he does is win, put the ball in play, and show us that chubby people can run, too. He may not be little, but he would have fit right in with the Piranhas. As long as we get to watch him play, will things ever really not be good?
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