After a seemingly eternal period in which the Miami Marlins looked to trade their star catcher JT Realmuto, they finally found the deal they were looking for on Thursday.
The Marlins have traded Realmuto, one of the top young players in Major League Baseball, to the division rival Philadelphia Phillies.
In exchange for Realmuto, the Phillies will part ways with catcher Jorge Alfaro, as well as prospects Sixto Sanchez and Will Stewart.
The Marlins, who are currently in what has turned out to be a de-facto endless rebuilding cycle, finally traded away their last established star, and acquired three solid young players in the process.
Philadelphia, however, is thrilled to have acquired Realmuto, arguably the best catcher in baseball.
Realmuto is only 27 years old and is in the prime of his career. He is under contract through the end of the 2020 season.
Realmuto, who hit .277 with 21 home runs for the Marlins last season, is also regarded as one of the game’s best defensive catchers. According to the WAR metric, he contributed 4.8 wins to the Marlins last season. That made him the most valuable backstop in baseball last season.
Philadelphia, which is still in the running for top free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, took a step towards competing for the NL East crown with their acquisition of Realmuto.