Phillies: J.T. Realmuto not keen to sign with Mets, Yankees
By Matt Rappa
J.T. Realmuto reportedly prefers to play for the Phillies over the Mets or Yankees
The World Series is complete, meaning in less than five days, catcher J.T. Realmuto will likely enter free agency for the first time in his career. The Philadelphia Phillies can issue the perennial All-Star a one-year, $18.9 million qualifying offer, however he is likely to reject that figure, instead seeking a record deal for players at his position.
It has been long speculated that either New York team — the New York Mets or New York Yankees — would pursue Realmuto this offseason to replace Wilson Ramos and Gary Sanchez, respectively. Given the Mets ownership change to Steve Cohen expected to be soon approved, that even further propelled rumors toward them outbidding the Phillies for Realmuto’s services.
If the Phillies come close to either team’s offer, if they make one, it appears they will not have any trouble to retain Realmuto. According to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury on Wednesday, Realmuto would look to re-sign with he Phillies and that he is “not particularly keen” on playing in the Empire State.
“However, if that’s where the record-setting money is, Salisbury writes, “Realmuto will eat heroes instead of hoagies. … The Yankees have prioritized re-signing infielder DJ LeMahieu so that could impact their potential pursuit Realmuto.”
Realmuto, 29, slashed .266/.349/.491 this season with six doubles, 11 home runs, and 32 RBI spanning 47 games. Overall in red pinstripes, he has 42 doubles, 36 home runs, and 115 RBI spanning 192 games. Not to mention, his Gold Glove-caliber defense, including in 2019 when he turned the most double plays (14) and recorded the best caught stealing percentage (46.7) among National League catchers.
A two-time All-Star, two-time Silver Slugger Award winner, and one-time Gold Glove recipient, Realmuto will be one the most coveted players on the free agent market this offseason. Starting pitcher Trevor Bauer and outfielder George Springer will surely also draw similar attention. Time will tell if the Phillies are willing to spend whatever it takes to re-sign Realmuto. For now, it appears the Mets and Yankees fall behind them on his preference list.