The most debated player of the past 12 months in Phillies baseball for all the reasons is coming back.
According to reports, J.T. Realmuto has re-signed with the Phillies on a 5 year, $115 million contract.
Can confirm: Phillies and JT Realmuto have an agreement on five year deal at $115.5 million. Record AAV for catcher— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyNBCS) January 26, 2021
When the team traded for Realmuto, there were some eyebrows raised. Surely you don’t part with your best prospect, let alone your best PITCHING prospect, for a player you don’t intend to sign long-term. This is not what smart teams do. You trade your second-, third-, or fourth-best prospect for this kind of player. You leave your best prospect for promotion, especially when that player is the kind of player that would fill a hole (developing pitching) that has plagued the team for years.
But at the time, the Phillies believed that they were in solid position to push for a playoff spot, having signed Bryce Harper and Andrew McCutchen, needing only one more piece in their eyes to put them over the top. Acquiring someone who not only would make the offense better, but also would improve the defense and pitching staff seemed like the best use of the one chip they had left to play.
Fast forward to the beginning of the 2020 spring training and Realmuto was without a contract and the game came to a screeching halt. There were rumors of negotiations taking place during spring training, but the cessation of baseball and sports as a whole ended those. Once the team took full account of how much money they would lose, doubt began to creep into the back of the minds of the fanbase with each day that passed without a signature on a dotted line. After the season, the team spoke of cutting back payroll, of not being able to afford certain players. Naturally, the eyes of the fans shifted to Realmuto and that meant that re-signing him was no longer a foregone conclusion. Rather, it looked like something that wouldn’t happen thanks to a decision to not spend money.
Now we can put those fears to rest.
J.T. Realmuto will be here for the forseeable future. He got what he wanted by getting the biggest AAV for a catcher. The players got what they wanted when ownership decided to #SignJT. The fans can now take a deep breath knowing that a fan favorite will be here for a while.
It’s nice when good things happen to the Phillies.
On the latest episode of Hittin’ Season, John Stolnis, Justin Klugh and Chris Jones broke down the signing and talked about next steps for the Phillies over the next few weeks on an emergency podcast!