I have been one of Klentak’s critics and wrote back before COVID that the Phillies were playing a dangerous game with Realmuto’s contract. The Phillies should have signed Realmuto this should never have been allowed to go to arbitration. I stated that I lacked confidence in Klentak and his ability to get a deal done. Judging by the comments, some readers thought I was/ am an idiot. However, my fear was real and now seems to be coming true.
Klentak appeared in an online call with members of the media on Monday night and was asked about the man they gave up for Realmuto, Sixto Sanchez. Klentak tried to explain his thought process:
“Look, what I’ve said all along, we would love to have J.T. here, but when you make that trade, you’re trading for two years of control and you know that,” Klentak said. “Sixto looked really good against us. He’s looked good this year. But we’ve had two very productive years of J.T., as well.”
You can see the video here:
My mind is about to explode after hearing this. So basically if Klentak is answering honestly, he decided to mortgage the future by giving up his top pitching prospect to rent a catcher for two years? Two years? No sir. You make that trade knowing you’re going to lock up Realmuto. Now the Phillies are in need of pitching and Sanchez has arrived in Miami.
Realmuto last played on September 12th where he injured his hip, causing him to miss games. At the time of the injury the Phillies sat in second place and were fifth in the expanded NL wildcard race. They had a record of 23-20 and were three games over 500. Since that time, the Phillies slid going 4-7 and are now at 27-27. They are third in the NL East and have dropped to eighth in the NL wildcard race. Ironically they sit only half a game above the man Klentak fired, Gabe Kapler’s San Francisco Giants for the final wild-card spot.
Realmuto led the Phillies in homers (eleven) and RBI (30). He is hitting .267 with an on-base percentage of .357 and a team leading slugging percentage of .527. With six games remaining, and the Phillies postseason hopes on the line, it is safe to say that the Phillies need Realmuto in the lineup this season, and beyond.
Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire