Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto could be looking for an even larger deal in free agency than initially thought.
Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reported on Saturday that the catcher will potentially be seeking the biggest contract in history for a player who plays the position.
“Realmuto is eyeing a record-shattering contract for a catcher, perhaps in the $200 million range,” Zolecki wrote.
The 29-year-old is set to become a free agent this offseason after spending the past two seasons with the Phillies. Since the team acquired him in a trade with the Miami Marlins in spring of last year, he’s slashed .273/.333/.492 with elite defense behind the plate.
If Realmuto ends up getting $200 million in free agency, he would be the first catcher to do so. The largest deal for a catcher in major-league history up to this point is Joe Mauer’s eight-year, $184 million extension with the Minnesota Twins that he signed in 2010. The largest current deal for a catcher is Buster Posey’s eight-year, $167 million extension signed in 2013.
A deal in the $200 million dollar range would be the second-largest on the team if Realmuto returns to the Phillies behind Bryce Harper’s $330 million contract that he signed before the 2019 season. It would also make him a staple of the Phillies’ core of players such as Harper, Rhys Hoskins, Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler, all of whom are all in their prime years.
Of course, the catcher should have plenty of suitors in free agency outside of Philadelphia as well. After would-be free agent Mookie Betts signed an extension with the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier this year, Realmuto will stand as one of the top free agents in the market with interest from multiple teams across the league.
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