Phillies to re-sign J.T. Realmuto
When the baseball season was over, I thought the chance of this happening was shrinking by the day. But the Phils managed to re-sign their biggest free agent, all-star catcher J.T. Realmuto, to a lucrative five-year deal.
I had visions of his inking a contract with the NL East rival Mets. However, while New York had a busy and successful offseason, trading for Francisco Lindor from the Indians, its new owners went elsewhere for catching help.
The Phillies ended up giving Realmuto $115 million over five years, which is the most average annual value ever for a backstop’s contract.
If there’s anyone who deserved it, it was J.T., the best catcher in baseball.
Kudos to new president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski for getting this done. Seeing Realmuto leave as a free agent after two tremendous years with the Phils would’ve been gut-wrenching. That’s because the price to acquire him from the Marlins – flamethrowing starter Sixto Sanchez – was so high.
I wonder if we’ll start to see more moves by Dombrowski as the free agent market has settled. This will probably be the first in a flurry as spring training gets closer; the Phils still have numerous holes (shortstop? bullpen? center field?) to fill.