Nationals among NL East teams in mix to sign J.T. Realmuto

J.T. Realmuto #10 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
J.T. Realmuto #10 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

If the Mets sign James McCann, don’t assume J.T. Realmuto is a shoo-in to sign with the Phillies.

Amid reports of the Philadelphia Phillies having financial constraints, as well as the New York Mets making a “serious push” for James McCann, the most likely National League East team to sign fellow free-agent catcher J.T. Realmuto reportedly would then be neither team, nor the team he began his career with — the Miami Marlins — but rather the 2019 World Series champion Washington Nationals.

“I would say, staying in the National League East, perhaps the most likely team to get Realmuto in that situation would be the Washington Nationals,” Jon Morosi said Friday morning on MLB Network. “They have seen him up close for the entirety of his career — first the Marlins, and then the Phillies — and what a great two-way catcher J.T. is.”

Outside of Marlins Park (273 games) and Citizens Bank Park (126), the next stadium in which Realmuto has played the most games is no other than Nationals Park (48). Across those contests, the two-time All-Star has slashed .267/.314/.415 with 13 extra-base hits and 26 RBI. In other words, the Nationals have seen first-hand just how much value Realmuto would add; Morosi said that if they sign him, it would be a “real win.”

“Yes, they still have some pitching to get, but the top of their rotation, you would assume, is in pretty good shape with [Stephen] Strasburg and [Max] Scherzer,” Morosi adds. “Certainly, this would not be well-received by the noted former National in Bryce Harper, if in fact Realmuto goes back to play in our nation’s capital.”

Currently, Yan Gomes is the only Nationals catcher listed on the depth chart, with Kurt Suzuki now a free-agent. Morosi believes the Nationals are in the market for a catcher, and, in so many ways, Realmuto fits their club “as well as he fits any other club.”

“He knows the division so well; he knows their pitching very well from hitting against their pitching for the entirety of his career,” Morosi said. “I like that fit, if in fact McCann is the guy who signs with the Mets.”

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