Phillies: Matt Klentak shares J.T. Realmuto contract update
By Matt Rappa
The Phillies have reportedly discussed a new contract with J.T. Realmuto
The Philadelphia Phillies are keeping things quiet in terms of contract talks between them and pending free-agent catcher J.T. Realmuto.
The silence is largely out of the respect of the perennial All-Star, who reportedly does not want negotiations to be publicized, according to FOX29’s Kristen Rodgers
Following Monday’s 4 p.m. trade deadline, Phillies general manager Matt Klentak spoke with the media, but the highlight of the interview was not necessarily his thoughts on the team’s acquired bullpen arm from the Milwaukee Brewers, but rather his comments on the Realmuto contract talks.
When asked if he has been talking with Realmuto and his agent about a contract extension this season, Klentak responded, “No,” but quickly back-tracked, instead responding: “No, I am not going to answer that.”
Later on, NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark asked whether the Phillies have made Realmuto an offer, before receiving a response from Klentak that he will not say due to Realmuto’s wishes.
Nonetheless, the previous report that no negotiations have taken place in recent months is “not true,” according to the general manager.
“We like him, [and] we think he likes it here,” Klentak added.
A recent Phillies transaction could hint the team is confident they will be able to bring back Realmuto following the 2020 season. Also, Managing Partner John Middleton‘s actions Sunday evening could suggest there is nothing Phillies fans should worry about.
On Monday, the club designated presumed No. 3 catcher Deivy Grullon for assignment, leaving the team without an experienced option if Realmuto and/or Andrew Knapp go down to an injury in the remaining weeks of the season. This risk suggests the team is not only confident in their short-term catching. depth, but also long-term if they lose Grullon on the waiver wire.
Then, there is Middleton, who was seen on ESPN’s Phillies-Braves broadcast mingling with the Phandemic Krew (separated by the Ashburn Alley gates). On this “Sign JT” sign, Middleton’s signature is spotted. Would an owner willingly sign such a poster if he was not confident in his ability to do whatever it takes to bring the player back?
After Monday’s series opener against the Nationals, the Phillies will embark on their final month of the shortened 2020 season. They remain in postseason contention, but the next-greatest storyline after their first potential postseason run since 2011 will be whether Realmuto will return.
Perhaps, there is now more reason for optimism than ever.