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Astros and Nationals possible "frontrunners" for J.T. Realmuto

Realmuto continued to assert himself as perhaps the game's only five-tool catcher in 2017

It should come as no surprise that contending teams are interested in Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, a young, controllable and talented player at a premier position who Miami is looking to move.

Now we have a few specifics on which teams those actually are.

The Nationals and Astros are among the clubs who could potentially swing a deal for Realmuto, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal, who reports the Nationals have checked in on the catcher.

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This makes a ton of sense for both clubs -- two contenders who could use an influx of youth and production at the catching position. Washington has Matt Wieters under contract for another year, but the veteran switch-hitter struggled mightily in his first year in Washington at age 31.

The Astros won the World Series last year riding 33-year-old Brian McCann behind the dish, where they value his leadership and pitch framing abilities. But McCann managed to play just 97 games last season, the fewest since his rookie season, and he hit just .175 in October against playoff-caliber pitching.

Last season, Realmuto, 26, continued to assert himself as perhaps the game's only five-tool catcher.

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He hit (109 OPS+), hit for power (career-high 17 home runs) and excelled defensively.

Statcast shows that he is by far baseball's fastest catcher, and also one of its best at throwing out baserunners.

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Realmuto is entering his first year of arbitration, and he is under team control for three more seasons.

MLB.com

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