Did the Philadelphia Phillies give up too much for J.T. Realmuto?

J.T. Realmuto

Philadelphia Phillies have reached an agreement with Miami Marlins to acquire catcher J.T. Realmuto, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Pitcher Sixto Sanchez, catcher Jorge Alfaro and left-hander Will Stewart will be heading to Miami along with international slot money.

Stewart is the least known of the three players heading to Miami. The lefty posted a 2.09 ERA in 20 starts in single-A last season with a fastball that sits around 93 and three offspeed pitches. His change up is what makes him a future big leaguer, capable of generating swings and misses and a lot of soft contact.

In a year including two shutouts, Stewart struck out just over seven per nine, but it was his command that impressed, walking just 1.9 per nine innings.

Sanchez has drawn comparisons to Pedro Martinez. MLB Pipeline ranked him the 27th prospect in all of baseball in their latest list. His ceiling is as high as any pitching prospect in the game, but Miami are taking on a fair bit of risk. Sanchez has already suffered injury issues and pitched just 46.2 innings in high-A last season.

The combination of a 100+ mph fastball, command and movement is just the start for Sanchez. He possesses a two-seamer that can get groundballs at will along with a good curveball. Pipeline believes Sanchez can have three above-average pitches in the future.

Miami made Sanchez a necessity for a deal to get done. He was Philadelphia’s top prospect and it fits with what the Marlins have been demanding all offseason.

The elbow inflammation that limited Sanchez’s innings clearly did not bother Miami. He becomes the Marlins’ top prospect.

Alfaro is the interesting part of this deal. It wouldn’t have made any sense for Philadelphia to keep hold of him, as he would have become a backup catcher behind Realmuto. His big league career has been mixed between highlight-reel throws and disappointing hitting so far. A 2018 wRC+ of 96 is disappointing, though it ranks as high as 13th out of catchers with over 300 plate appearances.

The raw power is there, but there is plenty of swing and miss in his game. It’s been a theme of his professional career, and part of the reason he was never ranked higher than 39th on MLB Pipeline’s prospect lists.

Putting Alfaro in the deal made sense, and demanding Sanchez fits with Miami’s timescale to try and contend. Stewart is an intriguing pitcher after his solid 2018. The international money is big for Miami as they try to stock the farm.

The Marlins have got the haul they have been waiting for all winter.

Giving up on Alfaro’s upside, their top prospect, Stewart and international money is a gamble for two years of Realmuto. Philadelphia need to make another major addition or two to their line-up, without it, this trade looks like an overpay.

About Sam Cox 225 Articles
Sam is a widely published freelance writer, covering basketball, baseball and a range of other sports. He's still trying to decide if he prefers a rundown shot block or a smooth double play.

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