The Atlanta Braves are reportedly “circling on” J.T. Realmuto, according to Robert Murray of Fansided. West coast teams are also interested.
It seems as if Realmuto’s representation is trying to bring other teams into the fold to apply pressure in negotiations. Per Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia, Realmuto “is said to have an attraction to Atlanta.” That was reported in September but at this juncture, a deal with the Braves would be unlikely.
They have Travis d’Arnaud under contract for one more year. If the DH returns, he could slot into that spot if the Braves sign Realmuto. As things stand, the DH would not be returning to the National League in 2021. Both the players union and the league have to negotiate the change in 2021 and it’s unclear where things stand between the two sides.
The Braves are known to sign lucrative one-year deals and with a need for a middle-of-the-order bat and Marcell Ozuna still on the market, the Braves would be wise to check in on Realmuto.
Murray also mentions that west coast teams are interested. The Angels are out after signing Kurt Suzuki to a one-year deal. The Dodgers have one of the best young catchers in the game in Will Smith. They could be interested in a short-term deal and move Smith to another position but it seems like their focus is on pitching. They’re reportedly in on Trevor Bauer at the right price. The Padres traded for Austin Nola at the deadline last season and seem keen on acquiring as much elite starting pitching as they can.
The Giants still have Buster Posey on the books and while he’ll be a free agent next season, it wouldn’t make sense for a team that’s in a soft rebuild to sign Realmuto. The Athletics have a solid rookie in Sean Murphy and should be seen as the last team willing to pay big bucks for a top-of-the-market catcher. The Mariners need a catcher and while they could be competitive in the next few years, it doesn’t seem like Realmuto is a fit when taking into account the other needs they have.
It would be hard for a west coast team to beat the Phillies’ offer for Realmuto, which is reportedly a five-year deal worth $110 million. Realmuto is probably worth more than what the Phillies are offering but in reality, free agents are only as valuable as how much teams are willing to pay them.
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