The Miami Marlins traded catcher J.T. Realmuto to the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday.
Miami will receive Jorge Alfaro, Sixto Sanchez, Will Stewart and international bonus money in return for Realmuto. Alfaro figures to slide right into Realmuto's old position for Miami. Sanchez meanwhile is one of the highest-rated pitching prospects in baseball and likely will become Miami's top prospect immediately.
The Marlins have been working on a trade of Realmuto all off-season, after the catcher reportedly rejected extension offers from the team. With only two years of team control left, Miami decided to get some talent back for Realmuto while it still could. Realmuto is considered one of the best catchers in baseball, which led to reported high demands from the Marlins this off-season in trade requests.
Alfaro appeared in 108 games for the Phillies in 2018 and put together a .262 batting average with ten home runs. The catcher has a strong arm and should continue to improve on his defense. Alfaro is 25 and has played in parts of three Major League Baseball seasons thus far.
Sanchez is 20 years old and has not yet pitched above high-A ball. The right-hander was recently ranked 13th in Baseball America's 2019 top prospects list and could start 2019 in AA for the Marlins. In 46.2 innings last season, Sanchez went 4-3 with a 2.51 E.R.A. Sanchez struck out 45 across 46.2 innings, while walking 11.
Stewart is a 20-year old pitcher, who spent time in A-ball with the Phillies in 2018. The left-hander was not considered one of Philadelphia's top prospects, but he has time to grow in Miami's system.
Moving Realmuto before spring training was likely a priority for Miami. With months of rumors, the talk would have only intensified once the players began to report. The Marlins can now put this chapter behind them and continue their rebuild of the organization.
The Marlins will report to spring training on February 13th.