Phillies: 5 catcher options if J.T. Realmuto leaves

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MIAMI, FL – AUGUST 23: J.T. Realmuto #10 of the Philadelphia Phillies in action against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on August 23, 2019 in Miami, Florida. Teams are wearing special color schemed uniforms with players choosing nicknames to display for Players’ Weekend. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

Phillies fans may have to face the reality of no J.T. Realmuto in their future

Entering the offseason it felt like a given that the Phillies and catcher J.T. Realmuto would sign a long-term contract extension that would keep the best catcher in baseball in the City of Brotherly Love.

Then, COVID-19 hit and baseball was forced to shut down indefinitely. With that shutdown comes no more roster moves and a pause in contract negotiations between the Phillies and Realmuto’s camp.

A contract for Realmuto is widely expected to surpass $100 million and push Joe Mauer’s average annual value of $23 million.

In recent offseasons there has been a slew of contract extensions signed in the final week of spring training. The same was expected regarding this year and Realmuto’s deal, but now with no negotiations, the Phillies are losing precious time to retain their superstar catcher.

It’s becoming increasingly likely the Phillies and Realmuto won’t have a deal done before the 29-year-old hits free agency this winter.

Given what the Phillies invested into acquiring Realmuto by sending their top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez, a promising young catcher in Jorge Alfaro, and pitching prospect Will Stewart within the division to Miami, losing Realmuto would be soul-crushing for the organization.

Outside of Realmuto the free agent market is a mixed bag. Yadier Molina will likely retire or stay in St. Louis, and the other options have a lot of questions surrounding them, which we’ll get into.

If the Phillies are unable to keep Realmuto, here are the options they could explore next offseason.

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