Phillies face tough decisions with 9 eligible free agents
By Matt Rappa
3. J.T. Realmuto
Catcher J.T. Realmuto will likely receive the one-year, $18.9 million qualifying offer from the Phillies, after the World Series concludes later this month. Once they do, Realmuto has 10 days to either accept or decline their offer.
Should Realmuto decide to accept the qualifying offer, he would be signed for the 2021 season for $18.9 million. However, if Realmuto declines the offer, he will be free to test the free-agent market. MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that Realmuto would likely reject the offer, as he seeks a “record-shattering contract for a catcher, perhaps in the $200 million range.”
Realmuto once again proved his worth during the 2020 season; in 47 games, he slugged 11 home runs and 32 RBI, while producing a career-best .840 OPS. And, behind the plate, Realmuto committed only two errors spanning 306 chances.
Overall, in two seasons donning red pinstripes, Realmuto slashed .273/.333/.492 with 42 doubles, 36 home runs, and 115 RBI across 192 games — but, along the way, has dealt with knee and hip injuries, which could prove worrisome for teams considering to sign the soon-to-be 30-year-old. Realmuto earned a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger award following the 2019 season and surely will be considered for 2020.
If Realmuto were to sign elsewhere following the Phillies offering him a qualifying offer, the club would receive a compensatory draft pick. Therefore, that pick would be their last remaining asset from the February 2019 trade that included sending Sixto Sanchez and Jorge Alfaro to the Miami Marlins.