Bryce Harper and Zack Wheeler have been among those who have stressed how important it is for the Philadelphia Phillies to re-sign J.T. Realmuto. Monday, they got a new public advocate, one who hasn’t even thrown a pitch to the two-time All-Star catcher yet.
Shortly before his introductory press conference, new Phillies reliever Archie Bradley tweeted out “#SignJT,” and also retweeted a fan’s homemade sign with the same message. Bradley, inked to a one-year/$6 million deal, carried that same energy into his first meeting with the Philadelphia media.
“I was very intrigued by Philly,” Bradley said Monday. “The team they have put together over the past few years…I mean when you get a guy like Bryce Harper to commit 10 years to the place, there’s something good going on there. And so, hopefully, me being on board we can get our guy J.T. back, but I’m gonna have a lot of opportunities to pitch…I’m gonna have a lot of opportunities to contribute, and ultimately that’s what I want to do. I don’t care what role it’s in, but I want to take the ball and I want to provide quality innings for this team.”
Bradley – who, like Realmuto, is an Oklahoma native – acknowledged Monday that he would like to provide those quality innings with Realmuto behind the plate.
Friday, Jayson Stark of The Athletic reported that the Phillies have extended a five-year offer to Realmuto, with a total value “slightly north” of $100 million. While president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski wouldn’t address that specific report – and the Toronto Blue Jays appear to still be interested in Realmuto – publicly, the Phillies sound rather optimistic about their chances to re-sign him.
“No, I don’t really feel any pressure by those comments,” Dombrowski said when asked about whether comments like Bradley’s up the ante to get a deal done. “I think everybody knows that you’d like to bring him back – that’s not a secret. So, no, I don’t feel any extra pressure in that regard. We want to do everything we can to make our club better and I think we’ve expressed our desires in doing so, so we’ll do our best in that regard. But I don’t really feel extra pressure and I don’t blame them – we feel the same way as they do, so we’re on the same page.”
Both Dombrowski and manager Joe Girardi were willing to acknowledge that there isn’t someone capable of replacing Realmuto in the sport currently. That said, the Phillies do have backup plans, but in an ideal world, they won’t have to break the glass.
“Well, we have Plan Bs and Plan Cs, we have them lined up,” Dombrowski said. “…One thing you learn heading into a winter time in particular is that you need to be flexible and adjust from one thing to another depending upon what takes place. So we have different plans…we have different rankings of players of who may be available, and who may not…and who’s available from trades…who’s still out there from free agency. So we’re prepared for something we hope doesn’t happen.
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