Source: Marlins want top Phils prospect for J.T.

MIAMI — Whether the Marlins trade J.T. Realmuto to the Phillies or not may come down to if pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez is part of the deal.

A source told MLB.com on Wednesday that Sanchez is viewed as a “must” to be included in a trade package for Realmuto.

MIAMI — Whether the Marlins trade J.T. Realmuto to the Phillies or not may come down to if pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez is part of the deal.

A source told MLB.com on Wednesday that Sanchez is viewed as a “must” to be included in a trade package for Realmuto.

Earlier this week, the Phillies re-engaged with Miami regarding Realmuto. Miami, per sources, also is in talks with the Reds, Padres, Dodgers, Braves and Rays.

The Marlins are pushing to complete a trade before their pitchers and catchers begin workouts on Feb. 13 at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla. But the team also is willing to wait if it is not pleased with the overall package.

Video: Reds, Marlins discussing deal for J.T. Realmuto

Ideally, Miami would like something done before Marlins FanFest, which is on Saturday at Marlins Park. All players on the 40-man roster are required to attend FanFest, but it would be uncomfortable to have Realmuto at the ballpark if he is on the verge of being traded.

The Phillies have expressed interest in Realmuto as far back as last July.

Earlier in the offseason, the Phillies also were engaged. But with Spring Training set to begin next week, they resurfaced as a viable option for Realmuto, who statistically had one of the best seasons of any catcher in the Majors last year.

An All-Star for the first time in 2018, Realmuto batted .277 and recorded career highs for home runs (21) and RBIs (74).

Video: Mayo on Sanchez being ranked 27th on prospect list

The Phillies have a deep farm system, with the 20-year-old Sanchez ranked as their top prospect per MLB Pipeline (27th overall prospect).

A hard-throwing right-hander, Sanchez has a fastball that routinely clocked above 94 mph for Class A Advanced Clearwater last season.

Sanchez went 4-3 with a 2.51 ERA in 46 2/3 innings, and he missed significant time due to right elbow inflammation. A sore collar bone kept Sanchez from attending the Arizona Fall League.

Along with Sanchez, the Marlins are eyeing several other Phillies prospects. It has also been speculated that catcher Jorge Alfaro could be part of the deal because Miami would need a replacement for Realmuto. However, that has not been confirmed.

Video: Straily discusss Realmuto trade rumors

The Reds continue to remain an option. Last weekend, MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo reported that infield prospect Jonathan India (ranked by MLB Pipeline as the 53rd overall prospect) and catcher Tucker Barnhart have been discussed.

After a slow offseason with minimal roster moves, the Marlins have signed infielder Neil Walker for $2 million and outfielder Curtis Granderson to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training in the past two weeks.

Before the start of Spring Training, the Marlins also are looking to sign at least one reliever.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

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