Phillies’ Focus: A J.T. Realmuto Return is on the Horizon

MLB free agency is finally heating up. We have seen some big names finally sign with major league clubs in the recent days. The Phillies have began to make some of the first moves during the Dave Dombrowski era as well. In an attempt to bolster their bullpen, Archie Bradley was signed to a 1 year, $6 million contract. Along with him, Jose Alvarado and Sam Coonrod were brought in to help relieve some bullpen struggles as well.

However, there is one move that still needs to be made. The Phillies NEED this one guy in specific to return behind the plate to catch the pitches of these new guys if they want to compete.

This one player is J.T. Realmuto.

Recent MLB Moves

Phillies’ Competitors

There were a few teams competing in the J.T. Realmuto hunger games. The Los Angeles Angles, Toronto Blue Jays, and Washington Nationals all were said to be connected in attempts to acquire the 2x All-Star. Recently, though, some of their moves may have indicated that the Phillies should atop the list of favorites to sign the catcher.

Most significantly, the teams in question have completed these transactions:
  • Back on January 15, The Angels agreed to a one-year, $1.5 million contract with veteran catcher Kurt Suzuki, a source told MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.
  • On January 18th, the Washington Nationals signed free agent C Welington Castillo.
  • And most recently, the alleged front runner to acquire Realmuto, the Toronto Blue Jays, made a huge free agency splash of their own:
  • Along with George Springer, the Blue Jays are said to have signed free agent Michael Brantley as well. However, sources are still waiting to officially confirm this.

Nevertheless, the Nationals and Angles signing catchers is essentially a lock that they feel they are out of the J.T. discussions. As for the Blue Jays, bringing in these top free agents has cost them a pretty penny. For a smaller market team, the cost of Realmuto may have extended out of their price range after making these moves.

The Phillies

The ball is now in the Phillies’ court- and hopefully will be in J.T.’s glove sooner than later. With the market now pointing directly in Philadelphia’s favor, the J.T. resigning is a must.

There’s no need to analyze Realmuto’s significance to this team, we all know about that already. J.T. is a leader on and off the field, and the Phillies need him if they want to actually compete. The NL East has continually gotten better throughout this offseason.

As of today, the Phillies have reportedly offered J.T. a contract in the range of $110 million. It’s clear that they want him still, but they still need to have some flexibility if J.T.s counteroffer is nearby that 110 million dollar mark. Their payroll is currently sitting at about $156 million after the Bradley signing. It was $204 million last season. That $48 million left over can be used on J.T. and a back-end starter.

Dave Dombrowski, it’s your turn. Sign J.T., get a starter, and make this team playoff bound again. Phillies’ fans are remaining patient, but with all the signings being in favor of the Phillies now, this patience may not last much longer.

Photo Credit: Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire

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