What could be holding up potential Mets deal for Realmuto
J.T. Realmuto has been a target of the Mets for the past year, and they are now rekindling talks with the Marlins on a potential deal for the All-Star catcher.
But the two sides remained far apart on Tuesday, according to an industry source, based largely on the Mets’ reluctance to include Michael Conforto in a deal. The Mets appear willing to use Brandon Nimmo as the centerpiece for the trade, but that likely would not be enough to get Realmuto. The Mets could also look to use Amed Rosario in a deal.
Realmuto, who is under club control for another two seasons, recently informed Marlins officials through his representatives that he won’t re-sign with Miami. Realmuto is represented by CAA — the same firm Brodie Van Wagenen co-headed before becoming Mets general manager in October.
The Marlins have sought high-level prospects for Realmuto, but the Mets’ farm system just took a hit after the team sent Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn to the Mariners as part of the trade for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz.
Nimmo, who served as Santa for the second straight year at the Mets’ holiday party on Tuesday, said he is unfazed about his name surfacing in trade rumors.
“If you are in this profession, if you are playing baseball as your job, you want other teams to want you,” Nimmo said. “You want to be in those talks because it means you’re a good player. I take that as more of an honor to be in those talks, but I haven’t gone anywhere yet, so the Mets obviously think quite a bit of me.”
Edwin Diaz is happy to ignore the bone spur in his right elbow.
“It’s never been a problem with me,” the new Mets reliever said. “I pitched all in the major leagues with that and really it was never an issue, so I feel good.”
The bone spur was detected during an MRI exam in 2012 when he signed with the Mariners. Since then, the 24-year-old has emerged as an elite closer, last season posting a 1.96 ERA and 57 saves.
“Mets fans are going to have a lot of fun with [Diaz],” said Cano, who came with Diaz from the Mariners. “He’s a guy that goes from 98 to 101 [mph] and the guy loves this game, he works hard. What you want is a guy who works hard and cares about the game and that is what he does.”
Diaz said he likes what he sees in the Mets.
“We have got a great rotation,” he said. “All the guys are great and it seems like [Jacob] deGrom, [Steven] Matz, [Zack] Wheeler, [Jason] Vargas, we have a great team and rotation and I’m ready to go.”
Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said there have been discussions with the insurers of David Wright’s contract about a financial settlement, but until something is agreed upon the third baseman remains on the 40-man roster. Wright, who played his final game in September, is owed $27 million over the final two years of his contract.
“The biggest thing is to see if we can work something out where [Wright] can come off the roster so we would save another player, potentially,” Wilpon said. “You don’t get [the money] back all at once, but over time we plan to get that all back and some of that will go back to payroll.”
Wilpon said it’s also possible the Mets will collect on an insurance policy on Yoenis Cespedes, who is expected to miss at least the first two months of next season rehabbing from double-heel surgery.
“We are hoping [Cespedes] gets back on the field sooner than later, because we do have insurance on him,” Wilpon said. “It’s a little bit less than David’s percentage, but the fact is there’s money coming back on that, at least for the first half of the season.”
Van Wagenen said catcher Travis d’Arnaud, who was tendered a contract last week, could be a candidate to play multiple positions.
“Travis gives us additional flexibility and versatility because he’s got the athleticism, he can play left field,” Van Wagenen said. “He’s got the motivation he can play third base, he’s got the motivation to play first base, so I think you need that as a unique situation from a catcher.”
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