The Dodgers Jimmy Foxx Jersey , Padres and Rays continue to show interest in the All-Star catcher, and now the Astros have re-engaged the Marlins in trade talks, according to Joe Frisaro of"WhiteFanposts Sections News & RumorsAnalysisPodcastsProspects & DraftGame CoverageFull ArchiveMasthead Social Marlins Players on TwitterFish Stripes on InstagramMarlins Media Members Fish Stripes Best of 2018 Marlins StoriesScheduleRosterStatsCommunity Guidelines StubHub 鉁昅iami Marlins News and RumorsAt least 4 teams still pursuing J.T. Realmuto tradeNew,16commentsThe Dodgers, Padres and Rays continue to show interest in the All-Star catcher, and now the Astros have re-engaged the Marlins in trade talks, according to Joe Frisaro of Sussman@RealElyDec 18, 2018, 12:05pm ESTShareTweetShareShareAt least 4 teams still pursuing J.T. Realmuto tradeSteve Mitchell-USA TODAY SportsIts not so much a question of whether the Houston Astros are back in the mix for Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto , as MLB.coms Joe Frisaro reported Tuesday morning, but if they ever lost interest in the first place.Dating back to last offseason, the 2017 World Series champs seemed like an ideal fit. Even with Novembers signing of Robinson Chirinos, rest assured that a 34-year-old who has never come close to a qualified season wont be blocking Realmuto in Houston.Kyle Tuckers name should ring a bell. He was reportedly requested by the Marlins when these teams last had active conversations. Miami fans are understandably fatigued about the organization compiling so many outfielders, but the Tampa natives upside and major league readiness would immediately vault him above Brinson, Mesa, Harrison, etc.An updated scouting report per Baseball America (subscription required and recommended):The Astros are close to finalizing a two-year deal with free agent Michael Brantley. Though that wouldnt make Tucker totally expendable to them, Realmuto has a much stronger track record at a higher-priority defensive position. If the Marlins were to accept a Tucker-led package without demanding another big asset Maikel Franco Jersey , youd think a team in win-now mode would pull the trigger.Of course, Tucker has been aware of the rumors. From Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle:The goal for Michael Hill and Co. is to hold firm to their extreme asking price with at least three other teams still in hot pursuit. They want a future superstar and other good stuff.Frisaro identifies the Dodgers, Rays and Padres, all of whom were included in other reports that have come out since last weeks Winter Meetings.That being said, lets not get too pompous: a Realmuto trade does need to happen by Opening Day 2019. He and the Marlins are hilariously far apart in contract extension negotiations, and there will not come another point between now and his free-agent eligibility when so many teams are desperately seeking an upgrade at catcher.Keep a tab open to Fish Stripes for continuing coverage of this developing situation... PITTSBURGH (AP) The Pittsburgh Pirates bet on themselves a year ago when they traded away stars Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen, believing the return they received plus the pieces already in place would help them make inroads in the hypercompetitive National League Central.The results were promising. The Pirates put together just the franchises fourth winning season in the last quarter century, finishing 82-79 thanks in large part to the rapid development of a young starting rotation led by Jameson Taillon and Trevor Williams that quickly found its footing. While many of their rivals retooled over the winter, Pittsburgh instead doubled down on its largely homegrown approach.I think that a seven-game improvement last year was a meaningful step forward , and we are absolutely positioned to take another meaningful step forward and get us back into that range where we have a very good shot at playoffs, owner Bob Nutting said.To get there, the Pirates needs the core of the rotation of Taillon, Williams, Chris Archer acquired in an aggressive move at last summers trade deadline and Joe Musgrove to build off a solid 2018 while hoping the offense can become more potent under new hitting coach Rick Eckstein. While the Pirates were a respectable 10th in batting average in 2018 (.254), they ranked in the bottom half of the majors in runs, home runs and slugging.The return of third baseman Jung Ho Kang who hit 36 homers in 2015 and 2016 before his career was derailed after being arrested on a DUI charge in his native South Korea in late 2016 should help. First baseman Josh Bell spent a significant portion of his offseason working on regaining the stroke that allowed him to hit 26 home runs as a rookie in 2017, a total that dipped to 12 a season ago.Pittsburgh brought in veteran Lonnie Chisenhall to help out in right field until Gregory Polanco returns from shoulder surgery and shortstop Erik Gonzalez beat out Kevin Newman for the starting shortstop gig. Otherwise Pittsburghs lineup will look much as it did in 2018. The Pirates hardly see that as a negative.Everybody is committed to doing what we can to putting a World Series championship team on the field, team President Frank Coonelly said over the winter. And we do know that we can do it.Some things to look for as Pittsburgh vies for a return to the postseason for the first time since 2015.FIFTH AMENDMENT: The only real question mark on the pitching staff is at the back end of the rotation Pete Rose Jersey , where Nick Kingham and Jordan Lyles have spent the spring trying to lock down a roster spot. Kingham endured an up-and-down rookie season in 2018 while Lyles has worked primarily out of the bullpen since 2015.GOLDEN GUN: Leftfielder Corey Dickerson put together the finest season of his career in 2018 after being acquired from Tampa Bay late in spring training. He hit .300 and was a revelation on defense, where he won his first career Gold Glove while patrolling spacious PNC Park. He earned a raise to $8.5 million in 2019, the final year of his contract. The 29-year-old Dickerson would like to stay in Pittsburgh long term but the Pirates have been hesitant to re-sign players in their 30s.FIRING FELIPE: While specific roles for the middle relievers remain in a bit of flux, the back end of the bullpen is set. Felipe Vazquez was the teams only All-Star in 2018 while he converted 37 of 42 save opportunities. Keone Kela, brought over from Texas at the trade deadline, will work in the eighth inning with Kyle Crick getting a shot in the seventh. Their reliability will help shorten the game for Pittsburghs starting rotation.HOMEFIELD ADVANTAGE: Pittsburghs improved play in 2018 didnt exactly galvanize the fan base. The Pirates posted their lowest average attendance at PNC Park since it opened in 2001 and its lowest overall since 1996. General manager Neal Huntington has spoken at length about the need to put a compelling product on the field, but that message hasnt quite resonated.FOR OPENERS: The Pirates begin 2019 on the road at Cincinnati on March 28. Their home opener is on April 1 against the St. Louis Cardinals.