Phillies haven’t made J.T. Realmuto an offer, initiated extension talks

J.T. Realmuto Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
J.T. Realmuto Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

This is bad news for Phillies fans who love J.T. Realmuto

The Phillies haven’t made an official contract extension offer or reinitiated contract talks with cater J.T. Realmuto, according to Rob Maadi of the AP and 97.5 The Fanatic.

Maadi says that Realmuto hasn’t set a deadline to sign a contract during the season, but that the Phillies haven’t even reached back out to the Realmuto camp since the shutdown stopped all baseball transactions earlier this year.

Needless to say, this is discerning news for Phillies fans who have fallen in love with Realmuto, who many view to be the best all-around catcher in baseball.

Through the first 11 games Realmuto has been Philadelphia’s best player, leading the team with a .306 average, five home runs, and 12 RBI. He’s called great games behind the plate and flashed his Gold Glove caliber arm once again, nabbing two baserunners already this season.

The news of no contract talks comes amid the “Sign J.T.” movement that has grown not only among Phillies fans, but in the team clubhouse. Bryce Harper, who has a great relationship with team ownership, has been very vocal about his admiration for Realmuto and calling for the club to extend his teammate.

There’s tremendous pressure on general manager Matt Klentak to get a deal done with Realmuto after they traded top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez, catcher Jorge Alfaro, and prospect Will Stewart to the Miami Marlins prior to the 2019 season. The team likely lost any opportunity to get Realmuto on a lesser deal before he hits free agency where he wants to set a new market for catchers.

Philadelphia Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies /

Philadelphia Phillies

Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina earns an average of $20 million a year and Giants catcher Buster Posey is right behind him in the annual average though he would have made $22 million if he played in a normal 2020 season.

Posey set a very high bar when he was 26 coming off an MVP award, signing an eight-year, $159 million contract. In 2011 the Twins signed franchise catcher Joe Mauer to a $184 million deal, though Mauer’s career didn’t finish the way many hoped due to injuries, and he moved from behind home plate to first and DH.

During the offseason, the White Sox signed Yasmani Grandal, who is two years older than Realmuto, to a four year deal worth $73 million.

Realmuto would likely get a deal worth at least $100 million with the highest average annual value ever for a catcher. It’s unlikely he’ll get the total money that Mauer or Posey signed for, but he could get a deal averaging $25 million a year.

Given what he means to the organization and the amount of investment they have in him, it would be a travesty if Realmuto didn’t re-sign with the Phillies. I would expect the team to make every effort to get a deal done whether it be this summer or in the winter when Realmuto hits the open market.