Phillies Nation

2020 Offseason

Phillies reportedly offering J.T. Realmuto a 5-year contract


Fans have been urging the Phillies to “Sign J.T.” for months. It might just happen in the next few days.

According to Jayson Stark of The Athletic, the Phillies have offered free-agent catcher J.T. Realmuto a five-year deal worth “slightly north of $100 million.” The offer was extended within the last week and is in the ballpark of where the Phillies and Realmuto were in negotiations last March before the pandemic shut down the sport.

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

Dombrowski declined to comment on Stark’s report but said “We continue to have interest in J.T. But from a negotiating standpoint, these are things that have to be kept private.”

In October, Phillies managing partner John Middleton told reporters that they “Figured [Realmuto] is heading to free agency a long time ago.” They tried to engage him in a conversation after Mookie Betts signed a mega-extension with the Los Angeles Dodgers early last summer but talks went nowhere.

Perhaps the Phillies made the bet that Realmuto’s market will play out in their favor. If that’s the case, then it appears they’re getting ready to cash in on that bet.

After sitting on the free-agent market for weeks, it’s become rather obvious that his market has not come to fruition the way he expected. The Mets being in the mix were his best bet to land a deal that would approach the $26 million average annual value he was reportedly hoping for early last season. Mets president Sandy Alderson told Jon Heyman on the Big Time Baseball podcast, “I don’t think Realmuto was ready to make a decision at the time we were ready to make a decision.”

The Blue Jays are the biggest competition left standing for Realmuto’s services but their main target in free agency is George Springer. It might play to the Phillies’ advantage to sign Realmuto before the Jays have a chance to pivot as there is still a good chance that Springer can land with the division-rival Mets. Then again, you’d wonder if the Jays would be willing to pay Realmuto in excess of $20 million-a-year, especially considering they have five young catchers on their 40-man roster.

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