Philadelphia’s chances of bringing back the fan-favorite lockerroom leader went up following the reports that Toronto has signed outfield George Springer to a $150 million contract. The deal was first reported by Jon Heyman and confirmed by multiple industry insiders late Tuesday evening.
The Philadelphia Phillies chances of re-signing J.T. Realmuto just skyrocketed.
The Blue Jays were poised to make a big splash this offseason, and were heavily connected to Realmuto. Now that they appear set on their largest contract in franchise history, it would be a good bet that they’re no longer willing to hand out a second nine-figure contract this offseason to Realmuto.
Toronto landing Springer was always a possibility this offseason. The All-Star outfielder was connected to both the Blue Jays and New York Mets, but following New York’s firing of general manager Jared Porter amid lewd texts he sent to a female journalist, the momentum to sign Springer appeared to swing in the Blue Jays’ direction.
Ultimately, the Mets’ misfortune might benefit the Phillies by taking the Blue Jays out of the mix on Realmuto. The Blue Jays are historically not a big free agent spender and with both Springer and Hyun-Jin Ryu making more than $20 million per year, I don’t think there’s room to add Realmuto.
At this stage of free agency, the catcher market is thin both in terms of supply and demand. The Angels, Mets, and Giants were considered to be contenders for Realmuto, but each of them signed a starting catcher this offseason, most notably the Mets signing James McCann.
Now left on the free agent market are Realmuto, Yadier Molina, Wilson Ramos, Jason Castro, Robinson Chirinos, and Alex Avila. Realmuto is by far the youngest of the group, the rest of whom are either backups, designated hitters, or at the tail-end of their careers.
Realmuto and Molina are arguably the only starting catchers left on the market, and Molina could return to the St. Louis Cardinals for an 18th season.
Philadelphia has the pressure of both the fan base and clubhouse to re-sign Realmuto, and with their biggest competitor now out of the picture, it feels inevitable that the Phillies will get their man back for 2021 and beyond.