The fact that Thursday's news was "merely" the Philadelphia Phillies prying away all-star catcher J.T. Realmuto from the Miami Marlins - and not the signing of one of the prized assets of the free agent market, Bryce Harper or Manny Machado - could wind up being a simple matter of timing.
To put it into perspective for Reds fans, it was essentially the equivalent of sending Tucker Barnhart, Nick Senzel, and a Top 25 pitching prospect to the Marlins for two years of J.T. Realmuto's services. Realmuto will earn $5.9 million in 2019, before entering his third and final year of arbitration.
The Marlins had been in discussions with numerous teams for Realmuto since the end of last season.
"He throws 100 miles per hour", said Michael Hill, Marlins president of baseball operations.
Alfaro is expected to replace Realmuto as Miami's starting catcher. He hit.262 with 10 homers in his first full major league season previous year and showed a strong arm, but had 11 errors and 10 passed balls.
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Sanchez in 48 games over four seasons in the minors is 15-12 with a 2.48 ERA with 191 strikeouts in 221 1/3 innings.
"In Sanchez, we saw a front-of-the-rotation starter".
"I think we've improved pretty significantly", said Klentak, who hopes these additions lead to an even bigger improvement.
Hill said Sanchez would start out at Double A Jacksonville while Stewart will begin at Single A Jupiter. He set career highs last season in home runs (21), RBI (74) and slugging (.484) en route to his first MLB All-Star nomination and Silver Slugger Award. Alfaro hit.262 with 10 home runs in 108 games last season.
Klentak also his defense and impact on the clubhouse are also a plus.
"It's hard to acquire top players at any position, especially at the catcher position, and we knew if were going [add] J.T., we were going to have to give up some talent in return", Klentak said. But that means, as free agency heads into the second week of February, there are still plenty of free agent and trade rumors buzzing around. They haven't had a winning season since 2009 and haven't been to the playoffs since winning the World Series in 2003.