During the offseason and Winter Meetings, the New York Mets catapulted themselves to the forefront of the trade talks with former Marlins catcher J.T Realmuto. The Mets and Marlins went back and forth for some time with names such as ace pitcher Noah Syndergaard, outfielders Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto and even star shortstop Amed Rosario being involved. Mets fans loved the aggressiveness shown by general manager Brodie Van Wagenen but also the boldness scared fans a little bit too. Now, it seemed quite unlikely that Van Wagenen woud part with any one of those cornerstone-type players, especially Syndergaard. As a better alternative, New York signed veteran catcher Wilson Ramos to a two-year deal, which ended up being the better decision.
First off, the Mets signed Wilson Ramos so theoretically they did not have to give up any prospects which was a plus. The Philadelphia Phillies, the team who acquired Realmuto, had to give up three prospects which included a top-rated pitching prospect in Sixto Sanchez, catcher Jorge Alfaro and left-handed pitcher Will Stewart. The Mets added a just-as-good, if not better alternative where their farm system was not touched.
Ramos has also played in big markets and produced, most notably as a member of the Washington Nationals where he would do his damage against the Mets. He is a proven, major-league catcher which is something that New York has not had in at least five years. Now, they have a catcher that can hit and play defense as well, possibly slowing down the running game on the bases. The Mets have been lacking at the catching position for years now and finally New York will benefit from solving this issue.
On the contrary, Realmuto has been in Miami for his entire career until now. There is no pressure in Miami which would allow him to play more easily and more free. But, there is certainly more pressure in Philadelphia as the 2018 All-Star catcher will be put to the test to prove himself that he can play in a big market, also coming off a career year. In 2019, everyone will pay more attention to Realmuto since the Phillies made such a push for him and also to see if he was worth trading for.
The New York Mets engaged in talks with the Marlins which caught the MLB by storm back early in the offseason but Van Wagenen was just playing the Marlins’ hand to see what it would take. There was never intention to trade away cornerstone players. The Mets got involved but ultimately made the right choice in choosing Ramos over Realmuto.