After a day that ended with some actual news (Hi, Joe Kelly), the final day of the Winter Meetings didn’t provide too much in the rumors department.
The focus of Thursday’s reports? Catchers.
— John Perrotto (@JPerrotto) December 13, 2018
Perrotto had previously reported that the Los Angeles Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates were talking Cervelli for Ross Stripling. He later said those talks were off And now it appears they are back on but the Stripling note is not known.
Cervelli has one more year left on his deal and would provide the stopgap that the Dodgers are looking for behind the plate. He finished with an .809 OPS, 15 doubles and 12 home runs last season.
The field for J.T. Realmuto is essentially down to six teams: Reds, Mets, Rays, Braves, Dodgers and Padres. But with Winter Meetings wrapping up, no trade expected today. Stay tuned.
— clarkspencer (@clarkspencer) December 13, 2018
The JT Realmuto saga is a bit much so far considering the Miami Marlins have reportedly asked for Cody Bellinger to be part of a deal. Despite that, the Dodgers still appear to be in the mix. You’d imagine that the asking price would have to drop for the team to seriously considering anything though.
Realmuto was an All-Star and Silver Slugger last season, finishing with an .825 OPS, 30 doubles, 21 home runs and 4.3 WAR. He has two years of team control left but is young enough to where the Dodgers could make him the catcher of the future. With two top prospects expected to be ready in the next two years, they likely won’t overpay for Realmuto.
The Dodgers checked in on Wilson Ramos to talk a one-year deal, but he wants more years, per source. Ramos was here in Vegas this week.
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) December 13, 2018
The last rumor is barely a rumor. Wilson Ramos is the best free agent catcher available not named Yasmani Grandal. Talk of a one-year deal definitely means the Dodgers believe Will Smith and/or Keibert Ruiz will be ready to go by 2020.
Ramos would be perfect as a one-year catcher but it makes sense that he would want more security, especially considering he was injured in a contract year in 2016 that may have cost him a long-term deal. He had an .845 OPS with 22 doubles and 15 home runs for the Tampa Bay Rays and Philadelphia Phillies last season.
One thing is clear: the Dodgers are looking for catchers. Andrew Friedman and Dave Roberts have both stated that they believe in Austin Barnes; however, they both know that belief and production are two different things.