Citizens Bank Ballpark has been a misunderstood yard for several years - it's good for homers, a mild tax on runs - but Realmuto gets a step forward anyway, escaping a toxic hitting environment and settling in with better teammates. During that period, the club has traded away Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich - winners of the last two NL MVP awards - and outfielder Marcell Ozuna. Two years ago, following a fruitless attempt to win with a talented group of mostly homegrown players, another reboot was set into motion.
The trade of Realmuto has other significance in that it represents the final "core" piece to the organization from the Jeffrey Loria-led ownership of the franchise.
The Marlins finished last in the NL East a year ago with a 63-98 record. At least that's how it looked on paper.
Will Stewart, a 20 round selection in the 2015 draft, has started coming into his own last season. Harrison and Diaz could contribute eventually but that's not a guarantee. But is that the case? 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. Cincinnati's Hunter Greene or San Diego's Chris Paddack would have been nice to have if a different deal had been worked out (I was hoping for a package of Francisco Mejia and Adrian Morejon or Paddack from the Padres personally) but Sanchez ranks right up there talent-wise. He was Philadelphia's top prospect and it fits with what the Marlins have been demanding all offseason. He hit.262 with 10 homers in his first full major league season a year ago and showed a strong arm, but had 11 errors and 10 passed balls. This is obviously concerning, along with the fact the Phillies were suddenly willing to part with him.
Even as the Harper and Machado sweepstakes lurch into their fourth months - with numerous usual, big-money suspects (Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs) apparently taking a pass, and the void filled with some dark horses and mystery teams (Chicago White Sox, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants) - much of the industry takes it as an inevitability that the Phillies will walk away with one of them. The Phillies had the worst batting average in the major leagues past year (.234) and were third in strikeouts (1,520).
He now ranks as the #13 overall prospect in Baseball America's preseason rankings.
Klentak believes getting out of cavernous Marlins Park will help those numbers.