Phillies Nation

2020 Offseason

J.T. Realmuto reportedly plans to decline qualifying offer

In an expected development, J.T. Realmuto is planning to decline the one-year/$18.9 million qualifying offer that the Philadelphia Phillies extended to him last Sunday, Jon Heyman of RADIO.COM reports.

J.T. Realmuto is a free agent. (Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire)

Realmuto declining the qualifying offer means that if he leaves in free agency, the Phillies will recoup draft compensation.

Of course, the Phillies still hope to re-sign the two-time All-Star catcher. President Andy MacPhail said last week that the Phillies and Realmuto “weren’t able to find anything approaching common ground” in past extension discussions, but also sounded cautiously optimistic when asked if he feels good about the team’s chances to re-sign Realmuto in free agency.

“Yeah, because there are two things that we’ve got going for us. The first is that I think he enjoyed his time here and obviously, we want him back. So I think those two things give you some measure of hope. In any offseason, there are just an amazing amount of variables, you can just multiply that exponentially this offseason. But yeah, as long as the player enjoyed his time here and the team has a legitimate interest in bringing him back, there’s that possibility.”

MacPhail’s quote leaves you with the feeling that the Phillies feel Realmuto’s agent, Jeff Berry, has been unrealistic in what he’s asked for to this point. Perhaps the Phillies believe that a trip into free agency will bring Realmuto’s team back down to earth a bit.

Then again, it would only take one team coming off the top rope to sign Realmuto. Some, including Bryce Harper, fear that team could be a division-rival. As we wrote earlier this week, projections on what type of deal Realmuto will ultimately get are all over the place.

Whether Realmuto re-signs with the Phillies or departs for another team, it doesn’t seem like there will be a quick resolution. If the Phillies believe that Realmuto may not make a decision until February or March, it will be interesting to see if they considering pivoting to another marquee free agent, such as outfielder George Springer, out of fear they could be left empty-handed if things don’t break their way with Realmuto.


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