Phillies emerge as most likely destination for J.T. Realmuto

As each day passes in the offseason, the chances that the Philadelphia Phillies will re-sign star catcher J.T. Realmuto appear to be improving in the organization’s favor.

Among the clubs that needed to find a starting catcher this offseason, most have found their answer — whether it be James McCann with the New York Mets, or even Kurt Suzuki with the Los Angeles Angels.

The race for Realmuto appears to be down to two … and the Phillies are ahead.

In recent days, teams believed to still to be in the hunt for Realmuto have narrowed in on just two — the Phillies and the Toronto Blue Jays. Yet, according to MLB insider Ken Rosenthal early Monday evening on MLB Network, there is a clear favorite. Philadelphia.

“I don’t know how it’s going to play out. I do know that Toronto will keep swinging,” Rosenthal said. “Realmuto is out there … but he sure looks like he is going back to the Phillies based on Jayson Stark’s report that they have offered him five years at over $100 million.”

Several free-agents have not been willing to sign with the Blue Jays this offseason.

Rosenthal pointed out that one of the reasons the Phillies appear likely to re-sign the two-time All-Star at this stage of the offseason, is that the Blue Jays have been unable to sign anyone notable, except for starting pitcher Robbie Ray early in the offseason.

“We can go through the list. [DJ] LeMahieu, [Corey] Kluber, [Tomoyuki] Sugano, Kevin Gausman,” Rosenthal said. “There’s a bunch of players that have rejected their offers. If they make the best financial offer to Springer, you would think that is going to make a difference. And maybe it will, but for whatever reason, players have not wanted to go there.”

A part of free-agent players’ lack of desire in wanting to sign with the Blue Jays is uncertainty surrounding where the team will play its home games during the 2021 season. Perhaps, the team could split its time between Buffalo and later return to Toronto, once the pandemic is closer to the light at the end of the tunnel.

[Andy] MacPhail did say that nobody wants to move in a pandemic, let alone twice and with another country,” Section 215’s George Stockburger notes.