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Phillies extend qualifying offer to J.T. Realmuto, but not Didi Gregorius


Before Sunday afternoon’s deadline, the Philadelphia Phillies elected to extend a qualifying offer to catcher J.T. Realmuto, but not to shortstop Didi Gregorius.

J.T. Realmuto is a free agent. (Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire)

Mark Feinsand of MLB.com was the first to report that Realmuto would be among those to receive the qualifying offer, while Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia was on Gregorius not being extended the same offer.

It was a formality that the Phillies would extend a one-year/$18.9 million qualifying offer to Realmuto, just as it’s a certainty that he’ll decline it. Once Realmuto declines the deal, it will set the Phillies up to receive draft compensation if the two-time All-Star catcher departs in free agency.

Through president Andy MacPhail acknowledged that the Phillies “haven’t able to find anything approaching common ground” in past discussions with Realmuto’s representatives, he did say Friday that the Phillies remain optimistic about their chances to re-sign him.

“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.”

Meanwhile, it’s not especially shocking as teams across the league pinch pennies that Gregorius wasn’t given a qualifying offer. Presumably, the Phillies believed there was a strong chance that the 30-year-old would accept the qualifying offer, and didn’t want to allocate $18.9 million to him. The flip side of that, though, is that if Gregorius departs in free agency, the Phillies won’t recoup any draft compensation.

Gregorius said last week that if the Phillies are interested in a reunion, he would like to remain in Philadelphia. It’s unclear how aggressive interim general manager Ned Rice and company will be in their attempt to re-sign the slugging shortstop. The Los Angeles Angels have already been linked to Gregorius as a potential suitor.

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