The price for re-signing catcher J.T. Realmuto officially just went up a few bucks. The Phillies catcher was awarded a Gold Glove Award as the National League’s best catcher. Outfielder Bryce Harper and pitcher Aaron Nola were also finalists for the award at their positions, but did not get the award. Cody Bellinger (Dodgers) bested Harper and Zach Greinke (Arizona/Houston) won the award among pitchers.
Realmuto beat out San Diego catcher Austin Hedges and Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina to be named the league’s best defensive catcher. Bob Boone and Mike Lieberthal are the only other Phillies catchers to win a Gold Glove Award.
Realmuto ranked highly in almost every defensive metric this season from throwing out runners – he threw out 37 – to framing pitches. In addition to his defensive skills, Realmuto put up productive numbers at the plate, hitting 25-83-.275/.328/.493 in 145 games with the Phillies. Many believe Realmuto to be the best overall catcher in baseball.
The Phillies gave up top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez, catcher Jorge Alfaro, minor league pitcher Will Stewart and international bonus slot money to pry Realmuto away from the Marlins last winter. The Marlins drafted Realmuto in the third round of the 2010 Draft and he had played five seasons in the majors with the Marlins prior to being dealt to Philadelphia.
He came to the Phillies with two years of club control remaining. He signed a $5.9-million deal with the Marlins to avoid arbitration last year and is in his final season of arbitration eligibility before being a free agent next winter. The Phillies have getting Realmuto signed to an extension on their list of things to do this offseason and hope to do that before he goes to arbitration. A ballpark figure is somewhere around five years and $110-million, which would give him the highest annual average salary among catchers and take him through his age 33 season in 2024.
The Phillies have stated that they would like to sign Realmuto long-term and he has stated that he would be open to signing an extension to stay in Philadelphia.