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Making Sense of JT Realmuto and the Philadelphia Phillies

What do the Phillies do with the Proclaimed by many “BCIB” otherwise known as the Best Catcher in Baseball title? JTR is currently under contract under the arbitration system of baseball where he came away with a 10MM AAV. (His camp had entered requesting 12MM AAV) The Phillies have a history of being Big spenders looking back on past contracts dating back to 2001 With the 6-year signing of Jim Thome worth a guaranteed 85 Million and the potential to earn 94 Million to the 2011 deal of Pitcher Cliff Lee worth 5 Years and 120 Million with the possibility of 6 and 135 million to the 6 year 144 million extension for former left-handed pitcher Cole Hamels to the large Free Agency spendings the last offseason with the 3 year 50 million to Andrew McCutchen and the notable 13 year 330 million deal they gave to Outfielder Bryce Harper and then in this offseason the 5 year 118 million deal they gave to Pitcher Zack Wheeler the Phillies spend and are not Scared to do it again. 

In JT’s first season with the Phils, he batted .275 with an On base of .328 and Slugged .493. He added on career highs in home runs and RBI’s with 25 round-trippers and 83 RBI’s and won a Silver Slugger. When you put those solid offensive statistics on top of elite defense at a defense-first position where he won a Gold Glove by throwing out 43 runners at a 47% clip whereas the second best threw out 27 runners at just
a 27% clip. 

Currently, the Phillies are in win-now mode, They are currently 6 million under the luxury tax which owner John Middleton seems reluctant to cross. It is worth Noting Realmuto’s camp has come out with the numbers of 5 years and 115-125 million. Realmuto accounts for 10 million of that and at the lowest of his desired money he wants annually would account for 23MM AAV and the highest would be around 25MM AAV. The Phillies while staying under the Luxury tax limit would have to offer 16MM AAV less than JT desires. However, this extension seems more realistic had it been a year in the future with guys like Jake Arrieta who is currently making 25MM AAV Jay Bruce who is currently making 13MM AAV and the unproven as a Phillie Didi Gregorious making 14MM AAV. Assuming guys like Arrieta and Bruce take their expected pay cuts and Arrieta does not have his option picked up the financial path to extend JT is clear. While extension talks do not seem underway given the state of the world it is safe to say both sides have expressed interest in a long term deal. Realmuto’s production speaks for itself, The path is clear for an extension but if you are looking for an extension soon you may as well write that off. The Phillies and JT Realmuto seem primed to agree to a large extension during the off-season.

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