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The Miami Marlins on Thursday traded their All-Star catcher to the division rival Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for catcher Jorge Alfaro, highly regarded pitching prospects Sixto Sanchez and Will Stewart and global bonus pool money. Per FanGraphs, he led catchers with a 4.8 WAR, the highest by a catcher since Buster Posey's 5.5 in 2015.

Who knows, maybe after the Realmuto acquisition, Harper will want to join him at the press conference table donning Phillies red. The Marlins, well, they're the laughingstock of baseball, years away from relevance.

"An innocent enough text message that I sent to Mike Hill on Saturday night kind of generated some ideas and some action", Klentak said. Alfaro, 25, is an adequate starting catcher.

Alfaro, in three seasons with the Phillies, has hit.270 with 15 home runs. If anything, Marlins Park should help him keep more balls in the park, as it ranked dead-last in HR Park factor for right-handed batters and 53rd for left-handed batters.

"He's been playing half his game in Miami", Klentak said. They gave up, arguably, the best catcher in baseball but they are acquiring exacting what a team rebuilding needs to be acquiring: A future ACE!

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The deal could vault the Phillies into playoff contention, and they're still pursuing free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. But that means, as free agency heads into the second week of February, there are still plenty of free agent and trade rumors buzzing around.

Did they come close to agreeing on an extension?

"I think it's a good idea to date the person before you ask to marry them", Klentak said.

Realmuto, an All-Star catcher, was the final piece of real major league value brought over from the previous regime for Jeter & Co.to trade as they tear it down before they hope to build it up. By the skin of his teeth, Berry was right, as the Philadelphia Phillies acquired his client on February 7, five days before Marlins pitchers and catchers were due to report to Jupiter, Florida for Spring Training. Elbow and collarbone injuries limited his workload and kept him out of Arizona Fall League. Still, the team is confident he would be ready for spring training.

Sanchez has struck out 191 batters while walking only 43 in 221 minor-league innings. There is no need for Sanchez to be forced into the Marlins rotation this year, as the team did with so many young pitchers last season. But he also struck out 138 times in 377 at-bats.

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For his career, Realmuto's 59 moonshots, 243 runs batted in, and.279 don't match up with his recent career year at the plate. But it was only within the past week that the Phillies resurfaced, swooping in to acquire the much-coveted catcher.

In the proposed deal, Realmuto would have headed to the Mets, who would have shipped star pitcher Noah Syndergaard to the Yankees.

"If that guy was on our side, it wouldn't have happened", Harper told reporters of Realmuto after the game.

The move may also open other opportunities for free agents who have yet to sign with other teams.

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