J.T. Realmuto is expected to file for free agency after the World Series. If he had it his way, Realmuto would sign a lucrative extension that keeps him in Philadelphia for years to come.
If the Phillies take themselves out of contention for the star catcher’s services, the next best suitors are the New York Mets and New York Yankees. The Mets may be the Phillies’ biggest competition for Realmuto but the Yankees are right behind them considering they may be looking to move on from the struggling backstop Gary Sanchez.
A New York team could very well offer Realmuto the most money but how does he feel about playing in New York? NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury had this to say about that on the latest edition of the Phillies Talk podcast:
“I’ve heard from people who are close to J.T that he really does not want to play in New York. He would if that’s where the money is but he’d prefer to play somewhere else so the Phillies have that working for them.”
Before this, Salisbury spoke about places he’d prefer to go to if he couldn’t stay in Philadelphia.
“I’ve heard J.T. loves Philly and would like to stay in Philly and if he had to leave, it would be for a place like Texas near his home in Oklahoma. I’ve heard he also likes Atlanta.”
Out of those three teams, the Houston Astros seem to be the most likely to make a run at Realmuto. The Atlanta Braves do not need to spend big on a catcher like Realmuto. They have Travis d’Arnaud — who is having a monster postseason — under contract for 2021. The Texas Rangers could be one of many teams who stay away from high-end free agents such as Realmuto.
To put the news of Realmuto possibly not wanting to play in New York into perspective, Bryce Harper admitted earlier this year that he wasn’t fond of playing in Philadelphia early on in his free agency.
“Philly came in. I’ll tell you, they came in and I wasn’t very excited. I was kind of like ‘I played against you guys,’ and I told them this flat out: ‘We kicked your ass for the past couple years.’ I flat out said that to them,” Harper recalled on the Starting 9 podcast.
The Phillies piqued Harper’s interest after a few more positive meetings between the two sides. He also had an interest in playing for both the Chicago White Sox and San Francisco Giants but the Phillies were the team who eventually offered him both a long-term commitment and the right amount of money.
Realmuto could warm up to the idea of spending the next four to seven years playing in the biggest baseball market in the world after an offseason of courting and a contract that approaches the $200 million he is reportedly seeking. After all, that’s kind of what happened with Harper.
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