The Philadelphia Phillies seem hesitant to give J.T. Realmuto a deal.
As always, J.T. Realmuto is dedicated to not bad-mouthing his team. He refused to speak ill of the Miami Marlins while they shopped him around prior to the 2019 campaign. When asked about the possibility of a deal with the Phillies in the near future, Realmuto was succinct:
"I’d appreciate if we can keep the questions away from the contract situation, just because we were in the really preliminary stages early on in Spring Training before the pandemic and we haven’t really gone anywhere since then. So if we could focus on the team here and speak a little bit less about myself that would be greatly appreciated. – Realmuto"
Realmuto has long been the best catcher in the major leagues, although he’s only been regarded as such since joining the larger market Philadelphia Phillies via trade in February 2019. The Miami Marlins got top prospect Sixto Sanchez, minor league pitcher Will Stewart, and Miami’s current number one catcher, Jorge Alfaro in return for two seasons of Realmuto.
Realmuto was named to the National League All Star team in his last season with the Miami Marlins, in 2018. After joining the Phillies, he was again so chosen. For his career, he’s slashed .278/.327/.452 with 84 home runs and 326 RBI. He’s stolen 40 bases in 53 attempts overall, and consistently ranks near the very top of the major league in “pop time,” with a mark of 1.88 seconds in 2019.
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There isn’t another catcher around with the same combination of defensive skill, power, speed, and overall makeup as Realmuto. No disrespect intended to current Marlins starter Alfaro, who is a very good catcher as well.
Alfaro is comparable to Realmuto in a lot of respects. Offensively, Alfaro has put together a .266/.320/.423 slash line, with 33 home runs and 108 RBI in just over two full major league seasons. His pop time is in the top quarter of the majors at 1.94 seconds. The only huge difference is that Alfaro strikes out 34 percent of the time and walks around 4.5 percent, while Realmuto whiffs 19 percent and walks around seven percent of the time. Realmuto is also two years older.
Could the Miami Marlins enter the J.T. Realmuto sweepstakes if the Phillies continue to lowball him? Realmuto is rumored to be seeking somewhere in the neighborhood of five years and $130 million, which would be in the neighborhood of Paul Goldschmidt‘s deal with the St. Louis Cardinals. Stranger things have happened. Thanks for reading.