Attention Philadelphia Phillies: Give J.T. Realmuto all of the money

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

After posting a score of accolades in his first season with the club, the Philadelphia Phillies have to extend catcher J.T. Realmuto.

As free agency begins in the MLB, the Philadelphia Phillies are trying to do their due diligence within their current roster. Catcher J.T. Realmuto is one of the first candidates the Phillies want to keep for the long-term. General Manager Matt Klentak made it clear he wants to not only build a win-now roster but a roster that can succeed for years to come.

Making Realmuto a centerpiece of that success is crucial to accomplish that goal.

Realmuto just finished out his first season a member of the Phillies’ organization. After a blockbuster trade last winter to acquire the catcher – a trade that cost the club Jorge Alfaro, Sixto Sánchez, Will Stewart, and cash consideration –  his contract is set to expire at the end of the 2020 season. As of now, Realmuto is expected to make a mere $10.3 million in his last year of arbitration eligibility.

That needs to change.

Realmuto’s 2019 season was full of career highs, and awards. The sixth-year catcher played in 145 games (career-high), had a .275 average (third-best in career), .820 OPS (second-best in career) 83 RBI (career-high), 25 home runs (career-high). Furthermore, his defense was unstoppable. Realmuto led the National League with 43 runners caught stealing (46.7 percent). He also started 14 double plays (first in NL). Overall, his 5.7 fWAR was good enough to rank him seventh among all position players in the NL.

These remarkable statistics were rightfully rewarded, as the (Philly proclaimed) best catcher in baseball was named the team’s only All-Star, won a Golden Glove, and the Silver Slugger award.  Needless to say, his first year in pinstripes was as good as it was advertised going into the season.

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Realmuto wants to be apart of the Phillies “for life.”  He has expressed his love for the city and plans to raise his family here once his playing days are done. The Phillies would be as stupid as the “stupid money” they plan to spend again if they don’t give him a deserving contract. If his first season as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies is of any indication, J.T. Realmuto has the making of a franchise cornerstone player – with the production to be among the best players at his position in franchise history.