The Philadelphia Phillies just might re-sign J.T. Realmuto after all. There has largely been nothing but positive news regarding the team in the past 24 hours — with the team signing right-hander Archie Bradley, drastically improving their bullpen, and now potentially nearing a new deal with the “best catcher in baseball.”
According to The Athletic’s Jayson Stark, the Phillies have made a new, nine-figure offer to the free-agent catcher — reportedly worth more than $100 million over five years. NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark reports the offer is the first one officially made from the Phillies to the seven-year veteran, while MLB Network’s Jon Heyman says the team seems to be in “decent position” to retain the two-time All-Star.
“[The offer] is believed to be somewhere in the range of where the club stood last March, when negotiations screeched to a halt because of MLB’s COVID-19 transactions freeze,” Stark writes. “Realmuto’s 5.8 b-WAR, in his two seasons with the Phillies, top every other catcher in the sport.”
The Athletic attempted to contact Dave Dombrowski, however he declined to comment, adding: “We continue to have interest in J.T. But from a negotiating standpoint, these are things that have to be kept private.”
The Phillies connection between J.T. Realmuto and Archie Bradley.
NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury recently reported, however, that the Phillies president of baseball operations met with Realmuto and his wife in person in Oklahoma on December 23.
There may or may not be a coincidence that Bradley is also from the Sooner State. Did Dombrowski meet in person with the newest Phillies reliever as well? If the trend continues, Realmuto, who will turn 30 in March, could soon continue to don red pinstripes into 2021 and beyond.
The odds are in the Phillies’ favor to bring back J.T. Realmuto.
Stark added in his report that, increasingly, the Joe Girardi-led team has “begun to position [itself] as the favorite to sign the All-Star catcher,” and that it has not aggressively pursued any other catcher, except re-signing Andrew Knapp who was arbitration-eligible.
In large part, the Phils have been helped with other organizations signing other free-agent catchers on the market, such as the New York Mets with James McCann, and most recently, the Los Angeles Angels with Kurt Suzuki.
With suitors for Realmuto seemingly dropping like flies, there will be fewer and fewer organizations that will likely be willing to match or best his new nine-figure, five-year offer.