3 external options for the Phillies to replace J.T. Realmuto

With the star catcher going under the knife for knee surgery, here are some options the Phillies could explore if they decide to bring in outside help.
Toronto Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen
Toronto Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen / Mark Blinch/GettyImages
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The news on Tuesday was devastating for the Philadelphia Phillies and their fans.

Star catcher J.T Realmuto was placed on the 10-day injured list to undergo surgery on his right knee. The knee meniscectomy, scheduled for Wednesday in Philadelphia, will remove the torn meniscus from his knee and put him on the shelf for at least four weeks, maybe longer.

It's something the backstop had been dealing with and tolerating since he missed three games in May with knee soreness. It was only a matter of time, it seemed, until we ended up here. Now the Phillies are without arguably the most important piece of the puzzle.

The No. 1 catcher has been remarkably healthy while in Philadelphia, although he did have surgery on the same knee at the end of the 2019 season. Backup Garrett Stubbs has played minimally since joining the team in 2022. He played 50 games that season, 41 last year, and has appeared in 19 this season.

3 external options for the Phillies to replace J.T. Realmuto

The Phillies will lean on Stubbs and Rafael Marchán, at least for now. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said they expect the top catcher to be out a month, but what if it takes longer and Dombrowski and general manager Sam Fuld decide they want to venture out and find a better replacement?

Here are three external options the Phillies could consider to replace Realmuto while he's out of the lineup.

Tomás Nido, New York Mets

The division rival New York Mets just designated Tomás Nido for assignment after activating Francisco Alvarez from the 10-day IL. The 30-year-old has been playing sporadically in the big leagues since debuting in 2017.

There's no way he would ever replace Realmuto, but Nido was slashing .229/.261/.361 in 90 plate appearances this season. He has three home runs and eight RBI in his limited time and would be an upgrade at the plate over Stubbs who's hitting .179 with a .466 OPS this year.

Defensively, the veteran backstop ranks 12th among qualified catchers with three blocks above average. For comparison, Realmuto ranks 64th (out of 66 catchers) and Stubbs ranks 53rd. He has also been slightly better at framing pitches than both Phillies catchers.

Nido would be a cheap, temporary option to play alongside Stubbs until Realmuto returns if the Phillies wanted a veteran upgrade over Marchán.