The Padres have emerged as one of the more ardent trade suitors for Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, and now Miami looks to have its eyes on one of San Diego’s young backstops. The Marlins want catching prospect Francisco Mejia included as part of the Padres’ offer for Realmuto, MLB.com’s Jon Morosi reports (Twitter link).
Mejia has already switched teams once in his brief pro career, coming to the Padres last summer as the return in the trade that sent Brad Hand and Adam Cimber to the Indians. The 23-year-old switch-hitter was a consensus top-20 prospect in the game last season, with Baseball Prospectus going as far as to rank Mejia as the sport’s fifth-best minor leaguer. He owns a career .293/.347/.452 slash line and 54 home runs over 2127 minor league plate appearances, and Mejia has also seen a bit of action at the MLB level, accumulating 76 PA with Cleveland and San Diego over the last two seasons.
Mejia saw a bit of work as a third baseman and corner outfielder in the minors, as the Tribe and Padres experimented with him at different positions given the presence of incumbent catchers (Yan Gomes, Austin Hedges) at the big league level. With Miami, however, Mejia clearly would be the Marlins’ long-term answer behind the plate as Realmuto’s replacement.
While Mejia is a logical target for the Marlins, he also stands out as something of an expendable piece for the Padres, despite his intriguing potential.