The Winter Meetings sure have been full of fun, and sometimes wild, rumors for the Cincinnati Reds. Yesterday’s rumors included Ender Inciarte, Yasiel Puig, Alex Wood, Rich Hill, Homer Bailey, Vladimir Gutierrez, and more. Today might top all of that. The rumor moving today is that the Cincinnati Reds are interested in acquiring catcher J.T. Realmuto from the Miami Marlins.

That tweet was quickly followed up by this one:

That would be one heck of a move. Love it or hate it, it would certainly be interesting. J.T. Realmuto is under contract for the next two years, so it would be a short buy. That would suggest the team has plans for other moves because they know they need to make that count.

With Realmuto, he leads the Major Leagues in WAR by catchers over the last three seasons. He would be an instant upgrade to the roster. But if the price is Taylor Trammell, plus, it’s not going to be an easy pill to swallow, either. Trammell is one of the top 25 prospects in all of baseball according to several national publications. And I have him ranked as the Reds #3 prospect behind Nick Senzel and Hunter Greene. He is a possible solution down the road to filling center field, though some scouts think he’s a left fielder because of his lack of arm strength. Don’t count me in that group.

Rumors are just that: Rumors. But the Reds are all over the hot stove this week. They haven’t gotten anything accomplished yet, but they are certainly acting like a different club than they have over the last few years. It’s a start. Let’s see if they can actually finish something.

Update: The Reds are also connected with Marcus Stroman

(this is Steve): A new pitching name has surfaced in connection with the Reds, Marcus Stroman.

87 Responses

  1. Michael Smith

    Man twitter world does not know how good JT is Doug.

  2. Tom Mitsoff

    Realmuto has a career WAR of 13.0 in four full seasons. The number has increased each year, reaching 4.3 in 2018.

    I would not be in favor of Trammell and Barnhart for Realmuto in a vacuum (no other moves). But if it is combined with acquiring two pitchers for the front of the rotation in separate deals or signings, then I’d be for it. I’ll take two years of the best catcher in baseball on a competitive team in exchange for a prospect who may or may not pan out. (Caveat — I have never seen Trammell play — just read all of the reports.)

  3. jim t

    I like it. Give me the best catcher in the game for 2 years in return I give you a very good prospect and our current catcher. We also have the replacement catcher probably 2 years away in Tyler Stephenson. Like most I still think we need pitching but a line up with him catching and Senzel at 2nd with Winker in the outfield is dangerous. We still have Siri as a possible CF replacement in a year.

    Sign Harvey and another pitcher, Bailey is gone after this year so you can make another run after a pitcher next year. It also gives you more time to sort through the youngsters.

  4. Jeff Gangloff

    This move making sense is so contingent on other moves being made.

    If you trade for JT and do nothing else, then its WILDLY stupid. If you trade for him, add some rotation pieces and improve the team in other ways…then I can kind of get it.

    Im not willing to give up Trammel for 2 years of Realmuto. I think Trammel is going to be a special player.

    • jim t

      Jeff, Trammel MAY be a special player but JT is already is a special player. Like you I think we still need pitching but I still make this deal.

    • VaRedsFan

      You mean the guy still in Single A?

      • Matt Hendley

        Yea, will definitely be in AA this season may make it to AAA and perhaps get the call. Dude is a legit blue chip prospect and not too much worse then Senzel.

      • VaRedsFan

        You mean guy that hasn’t played yet, and has trouble staying on the field?

      • Matt Hendley

        He went on the concussion protocol for sliding headfirst into the outfield wall.

      • DHud

        What did either of these two do to you?

    • Hotto4Votto

      Realmuto is the real deal. He would definitely improve the Reds. But I think Trammell is about as real deal as prospects come as well. It’s hard for me to come to terms with Trammell for only two years of Realmuto, mainly because the Reds will spend their first year with Realmuto trying to climb out of the cellar. So, at most, with almost everything going well and according to plan, and contingent on several other moves being made (at least two SP and a CF) as well, they might get Realmuto for 1 year when they’re competitive. That’s a steep steep price for a prospect as highly rated and thought of as Trammell.

      If the Reds had their 2012 pitching staff in place with the other position players they have now, then by all means trade Trammell for Realmuto. Those are the types of moves that put you over the top. The Reds aren’t within shouting distance of the top now, so this move doesn’t make much sense to me.

    • greenmtred

      Agree, Jeff. Catcher is not one of the Reds’ major weaknesses, and Trammel could be big part of the next good (great?) Reds’ team. Also, 2 years is really a rental in this case–a rental that is ending just as the team is really competitive.

  5. BigRedMike

    Understanding that it is just a rumor, this is the type of thinking I want to see from the Reds. Every position, except Votto and Suarez, should be open to upgrade.
    The OF needs to be addressed soon and all three spots should be viewed as possible to improve.

    • Tom

      Agreed. Plus, even if the deal isn’t completed, it raises the price for others.

    • Colorado Red

      I would be willing to trade Votto and Suarez, but it would cost the farm, and then some.

      • Matt Hendley

        The easiest way to determine that an individuals comments should be disregarded on here is to indicate that the reds should trade a franchise icon that has a full no trade clause and repeatedly states that he will not waive it despite being on a team that has done so horribly a normal person would have waived it 2 seasons ago.
        A suarez trade, due the length of his remaining contract would require a return so high it would be prohibitive in its own right.

  6. WVRedlegs

    Suppose Barnhart isn’t the C that would be included. Tyler Stephenson maybe? Then Reds and pivot to talk to Mets about Barnhart and others (maybe Gennett) for a P. Maybe not Syndergaard, but back to Zack Wheeler again. If they were talking to the Dodgers about a Pitcher with 1 year left, I assume they could also talk to the Mets about a Pitcher with 1 year left. And keep Realmuto.

  7. big5ed

    No. A thousand times no.

    Do not give up Taylor Trammell for the difference in 2019 and 2020 between Tucker Barnhart and J.T. Realmuto. Barnhart had some issues last year, but in 2017 he had a 3.4 bWAR, and Realmuto had a 3.6.

    I will assume this is a rumor from the Marlins, seeking to get more out of other teams looking at Realmuto.

  8. Matt Hendley

    Its getting ridiculously stupid. Not only should dick Williams be shot if he makes that kind of deal. The catcher i can part with (either TB, CC, or TS.) But trammell, who will be better then JT and under control for nearly half a decade longer. It just doesnt make sense from the reds perspective. We already have a fairly decent catcher. A above average backup, and a top prospect. This has got to be another smokescreen.

    • Matt Hendley

      Maybe this is all writers trying to BS stories for a slow winter meetings

    • big5ed

      I will become a ballet fan, if they do a move as stupid as this.

    • VaRedsFan

      Trammel is a Single A prospect. JT is a bonafide all star. There is no comparison…you do this all day everyday. Tucker was downright bad last year, especially defensively.

      • Matt Hendley

        Once upon a time, bryce harper was a Single A prospect. WAS got several offer’s to trade for equally good players and turned them down rightfully so. Tucker while not horrible was not great, you are correct. If they are going to trade him then so be it. This sounds like the erik bedard trade speculation.

      • big5ed

        Uh, Baseball Reference gave TB a 0.9 defensive WAR last year (down from 2.8 the year before), and JTR a 0.1 defensive WAR. Realmuto ought to be playing outfield, if you ask me, because his speed is too good to waste at catcher.

        100% of the teams would love to have “Single A prospect” Trammell, who was MVP of the Futures Game last year.

    • B

      This could also be a partially correct report. For example if someone the Reds are going after in a trade is pushing for Barnhartt to be part of the deal and that team doesn’t have what it would take to get JT themselves. This deal for JT could be a precursor to another deal – say Mets, Indians (traded 2 catchers in a matter of months), etc..

      Also it says that Trammell was talked about, it doesn’t say the Reds brought his name into the discussions. It could be that Jeter and the Marlins asked about him. We know that the Yankees asked for him too. This could be leaked by the Marlins that they talked about Trammell hoping someone will bite and another team will panic and offer more.

      • big5ed

        I agree that the likely source of the Trammell end of it is the Marlins, trying to scare up better offers. Dick Williams would risk involuntary assignment to a mental institution if he did this trade.

  9. Eric the Red

    Giving away a strong prospect in order to help us move from 0% to a 5% shot at a WS victory in the next two years? And not even someone that will drive attendance in any way? That seems like a poor plan….

    • bmblue

      Attendance shouldn’t even be a consideration

      • Eric the Red

        I agree. But the team has been so terrible and attendance has been sinking, so I could imagine a Reds decision maker thinking that a Ken Griffey Junior or the San Diego Chicken would be worth it even if it didn’t move the needle on our WS hopes the next two years. But Joe Very Good Catcher adds neither a WS ring nor butts in the seats, so what exactly would be the point?

  10. jreis

    I actually think Siri is the cf of the future for our team. he has all the defensive tools to play a really good cf and watching him he looks very confident out there. I would say if the reds really think Winker can develop into an average outfielder then maybe we should trade Trammel for a player that can help right away.

  11. Matt Esberger

    This might be a tough one due to Realmuto is a middle of order right handed hitter who could hit about 30 HR playing half his games at Great American who will get a big payday from someone in 2 years because of that around when the Reds will be ready to compete. Barnhart has 2 extra years of control and OBP is about same as Realmuto plus a better defender.

  12. WVRedlegs

    Realmuto is a far superior pitch framer than Barnhart. Barnhart blocks pitches in the dirt better. Barnhart took a big step back in runners that stole bases off of him last year. However, I believe the Reds pitchers were more responsible for many of those steals. It got pretty ridiculous last year with runners.
    I agree with Matt E above that Realmuto brings a middle of the order bat, too, that can really protect Votto. Suarez had a much better batting line hitting 5th as he did hitting 4th. Insert Realmuto 4th and you have Votto > Realmuto > Suarez hitting 3-5. Now place Winker, Senzel and most likely Schebler around them and it starts to get interesting. A better hitting Peraza also adds to the mix. Just need to address the CF / leadoff spot, and of course the pitching.

  13. IndyRedsFan

    Just speculating, but my first thought on seeing this was that the Reds were only after Realmuto so that they can flip him to Mets for Syndergaard. Mets certainly are after Realmuto. Reds certainly after pitching.

    • big5ed

      Well, then why don’t the Mets just trade Syndergaard to the Marlins for Realmuto, and let the Marlins flip him?

  14. Jeff Reed

    I don’t see catching as a big Reds need for this season or the near future. Barnhart has been extended on a favorable contract and is adequate defensively and often comes through offensively when least expected. Hopefully this offseason will not again leave Reds starting pitching as a big question mark.

  15. WVRedlegs

    The Rays are about to sign Charlie Morton. I would not have thought that possible, even though TB was a rumored suitor. I guess anything is possible. This evening could get pretty wild since most teams will head home later tomorrow evening.

  16. WVRedlegs

    Heyman tweets:
    “Reds and Marlins continue to engage on Realmuto, though Cincy has so far held the line and not agreed to include Nick Senzel.”
    Ouch. Stand fast, stand tall, stand solid DW.

  17. doofus

    Whatever happens, it’s refreshing to see that the Reds FO finally is showing some effort to improve during the Winter Meetings/Offseason. What a difference compared to the past.

  18. doofus

    But Realmuto is from Oklahoma. When was the last time the Reds had a catcher from Oklahoma? Hmmmm..

  19. doofus

    Stroman is a preeminent worm killer. Alex Wood also is a worm killer. It may come to pass that the Reds get worm killing pitchers not named Kuechel.

    • lwblogger2

      I do love some worm-killing pitchers. I like guys who also strike guys out, especially with somewhat porous infield defense but I wouldn’t mind seeing a guy like Alex Wood. This assuming the price is right.

  20. Bob Purkey

    Charlie Morton to Rays for $30M for 2 years! Pretty feasible for both sides!

  21. Scotly50

    I don’t this trade has any validity. I think the Marlins just threw it out there to get the Mets to move. Just my thoughts

    • Matt Hendley

      Ditto, realmuto is good, even great, but only for 2 years, less then that since we are going to have to trade him off again. Trammel is going to be a repeated all star. Will have defacto.7 seasons of control cause he will be the type of prospect you watch service time with. Even trammell for realmuto straight up is a stretch. Blowing smoke for other teams.

  22. WVRedlegs

    For those fretting over whether players have 1 year or 2 years left under team control. Something to keep in mind. Those player are in the arbitration years. The front office have to negotiate a contract with said players for 2019 regardless or go to an arbitration hearing. There is nothing that says the Reds cannot negotiate a contract that goes beyond 2019 or 2020. Reds would have sole negotiating rights until they declare for free agency. Not all players seek to go out into free agency. That might be especially true now with the crazy free agent market of the last 2 off-seasons. Just a little food for thought while contemplating and digesting all these trade scenarios.

    • Bill

      It’s true that extensions are possible, but it is not guaranteed. That extension probably isn’t coming with any type of discount, especially for the guys in their last year of control. If you believe Senzel or Trammell are going to be Stars you have them for six years at a low price. Guys like Realmuto are Stars and are going to demand a premium. They also haven’t built a home in Cincinnati oror develop a desire to stay like someone who came up in the organization like Votto.

      • Matt Hendley

        Thank you bill, west Virginia, you are correct we could try to extend him, and yes some trade deals are done with extensions kinda sorta agreed to, think about the likelihood of realmuto, who was the only person the marlins actually wanted to extend, not signing an extension there, and then signing one with us. All that happening while the last catcher we signed an extension with is already on the block. I wouldnt do it and neithet would he. What he would do is destroy baseballs in GASP for 2 years and then probably become a yankee for twice what we can actually pay him.

      • Bill

        It might make sense if there were other moves made to get two good starting pitchers. They could also go sign Machado or Harper for no prospects at all, if the thought was to extend Realmuto and accomplish roughly the same thing. I understand he is the best catcher available and is an instant improvement, he just isn’t the one piece that puts the Reds over the top like Latos was in 2012

  23. roger garrett

    Its neat we are at least making the rumor mill but until its more then rumors we are just what we are and have been and that is watching from the sideline while others make the deals.For me it is more exciting that it appears the Reds have something resembling a plan in that they are saying some of the right things.Lets also remember they have finally moved on from havoc on the base paths after realizing one most get on base to create havoc.

  24. doofus

    I’m proud of the Reds front office to actually engage other teams in the possibility of obtaining players to improve the roster. This is a huge departure to the reticent posture of the WJ led front offices. Here is hoping that WJ has finally retired to his enclave in Sarasota or wherever, never again to be involved in Reds baseball.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Roark looks like a third-year arbitration player for 2019 — one year of team control. Salary unknown. 3.4 WAR last year, 9-15 record, 4.34 ERA, 180 innings.

    • earmbrister

      I liked the comment on MLB Trade Rumors:

      The rare 1 for 1 Tanner challenge

    • Hotto4Votto

      I’m a fan of this move. Solid back end starter, eats innings, doesn’t walk a bunch of guys. Cost for one year will be reasonable, and didn’t cost much of anything to acquire. Buys guys like Mahle and Santillan a little more development time.

  25. Davy13

    Convert the rumors into reality. I made this pitch last season on RLN when so many trade ideas were bandied about, but nothing on JTR. That idea was off the radar. I live in Miami and follow the Marlins as my #2 team behind the Redlegs. JT is the best, all-around catcher in baseball. His defense is very sound and his offense would even be better at GABP. He has good speed so he can be even inserted at the top of the lineup. He’s only 27 and there are two more seasons of team control so he would be contract-friendly as the team as key piece of a contending team.

    “Trammell is one of the top 25 prospects in all of baseball according to several national publications. And I have him ranked as the Reds #3 prospect behind Nick Senzel and Hunter Greene.”

    What is JT’s ranking? Oh he does not have one because he is already a proven stud of a player. Trammell may become one, but “may” is the operative word. It is not a guarantee. It is a good risk to get a real good player at a position where not a whole lot of good players are found.

    • Bill

      He is proven. He also could get hurt and provide nothing. Everyone knows he is a proven All Star. The question is do you risk competing for Division titles 2020-2023 so you can compete for the Wild Card in 2019. If the Reds empty the bank and trade away the farm and go for it in 2019 that is a huge gamble. If the Reds win 86 games this year, then I approve of this type of trade next year. Realmuto alone does not add 30 wins to get past the Cubs, Cards, and Brewers

  26. old-school

    Consider the 2018 winter GM meetings in Las Vegas an unqualified success.
    The NFL has turned the Combine week and NFL draft weekend into off-season media spectacles that focus attention on football when football isn’t being played.

    MLB has just succeeded in creating its own off-season spectacle to focus unprecedented off-season attention on the sport of major-league baseball.

    Its entertaining. MLB and the players and the agents and the various media platforms and the fans all want to talk about the game. It seems the MLB front offices are much more engaged in fueling speculation and the rumor mill than in prior years.( Walt).

    Maybe baseball is still ok for a few more years.

    It does seem the Reds and Dodgers might be a fit somewhere, someway.

  27. Streamer88

    We just stole a rotation number 2, 3 or 4 from the Nationals. I’m absolutely baffled and giddy by the move. Even if he sucks next year – what a move by DW.

    • Bill

      It only cost Tanner Rainey, a steal in comparison to the Yankees asking for Trammell for Gray. He has been a solid innings eater and should be an improvement over what the Reds got last year

    • Michael E

      Add in a possible resurgence to near Cy Young form with a new and well-regarded pitching coach. It was well worth a Tanner Rainey to give it a shot.

      If Roark comes back to better form and enjoys full time SP duties, he might extend with the Reds too. not much to lose here, just some payroll space and a fairly old AAA RP.

  28. redfan4life

    Reds just got Tanner Rorak for Tanner Rainey. Nationals salary dump.
    Rorak due to make roughly 10 mil. Free agent at end of season. One of only 12 pitchers to pitch at least 180 innings each of last three seasons.

  29. doofus

    Apparent salary wash. Innings eater.

  30. redfan4life

    Career has give up a little less than 1 HR per 9 inns pitched.

  31. WVRedlegs

    Roark? Nothing like having a Plan E to fall back on. Disappointment if this is getting the pitching. They could do no better than this?

    • Michael E

      Roark has a lot of upside and new pitching coach, it could turn out to be a big steal for the Reds. There are some ifs and buts of course, but it cost very little in terms of payroll/prospect.

      I’d rather the Reds do this than sign a terrible Harvey that can’t make it through 5 innings on 100 pitches. I just hope they don’t give up any top 5 prospects for a mediocre Sonny Gray or Marcus Stroman.

    • lwblogger2

      This is a start for getting the pitching. Roark is the innings gobbling middle-of-the-rotation part of the puzzle. I’d be surprised if this is “THE” pitching move for the rotation. He’s a rental basically but the prospect cost was minimal.

  32. Matt Hendley

    Tanner Roark trade a win for the Reds, that is a pickup for a relief pitcher that needed at least another year of development.

  33. YoungRedleg

    Dick Williams suggested this deal was mainly to acquire an “innings-eater” type pitcher. Looks like this deal could be the first of a few more to come- hopefully more quality starters. Here’s to the Reds being aggressive!

  34. Matt Hendley

    Lance Lynn 3y 30 Million to the Rangers, If the Reds had done that I may have stopped watching. Tanner Roark is the Innings eater, A good 4-5. NOT THE ONLY MOVE THE REDS SHOULD MAKE.

    • Tom Diesman

      Roark is a good 3/4. The average ERA for NL starters last season was 4.00. Reds starters last season posted a 5.02 ERA. What a good add, shame it’s most likely only for one season. Hopefully more to come.

  35. Jreis

    I would rather Mahle and Romano get those innings then Roark

    • Bob Purkey

      they will get their innings. They can have all of Homer’s innings.

      • Bill

        Yes, it could have been spent somewhere else and I am puzzled why the Reds seem to be after all these one year guys, but they will still have that $10 million to spend next year. Lance Lynn is supposedly getting a 3/$30 million contract with the Rangers so it is what a back end starter would have cost anyway. I don’t mind trading away a minor league reliever to fill out the rotation this year, as much as I would trading away Trammell for Gray

  36. Bob Purkey

    I am fine with this. The cost was virtually nothing – a guy who really had no chance to pitch on this staff beyond an occasional spot appearance up from Louis, for a guy who has pitched at least as well as anybody on the current staff.

  37. jgorrell.tcp

    Yay, another number 4 starter. Top of the NL Central better watch out. For all of those saying we didn’t give anything up, we gave up 10 million that could have went somewhere else. DW is said to have his hand in everything, maybe he needs to focus on just a few things and either do them or don’t. Taking on a pitcher because another team doesn’t want to pay him to pitch says said pitcher isn’t very good.

    • Matt Hendley

      Payroll arguments are not gaining sympathy votes. Reds are still 80 Mil away from the Luxury Tax, the only thing I will consider a salary CAP. Pitchers get traded all the time because they don’t have room. Doesn’t mean they are bad. It’s not long Term, so if it blows up, only have to wait till Sep to dump him.

  38. Jeff Reed

    Roark could be another Straily for the next couple years. A big help to get the Reds around .500 before contention sets in.

  39. greenmtred

    I’m sure there’s a reason–maybe even a good one–why my comments aren’t posting, but I don’t know it. Enlightenment?

    • Doug Gray

      We are working on transitioning the website from one server to another. In the process there have been a few hiccups. One of them was labeling all new comments as “waiting for approval”. I just marked off about 20 comments as approved and more than a few were yours.

      Please bare with us – there are some issues going on still that we are trying to take care of.

  40. Matt Hendley

    New format is interesting….guess ill get used to it.

    • Doug Gray

      It’s still a work in progress. There will be some cosmetic changes coming still – though this is the basic premise.

  41. Greg Smith

    This is a ridiculous discussion..if you have a chance to acquire the best player in the majors at his position for someone who may or may not develop into a major league player..and yes no matter how someone looks in the minors there is absolutely no way to say for certain they will even be a serviceable player in the majors…absolutely no way…then you do it…shouldn’t even be any hesitation whatsoever…