The Sixers want a new stadium. The Flyers are on the brink of elimination from the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Restaurants are reopening next week and gyms FINALLY reopened Tuesday in South Jersey.
Despite all the chaos and uncertainty in the world, one major question clouds the minds and populates sports talk:
“When are the Phillies going to pay catcher JT Realmuto?”
The All-Star catcher, who leads the Phillies in homers and RBIs, is set to become a free agent at the end of this season.
Phillies HAVE spoken to Realmuto’s reps
“That’s not true,” Klentak said Monday.
Although Klentak did confirm recent contract talks with Realmuto’s Reps, he also refused to go into any more of the details.
If there is any movement between the front office and Realmuto’s camp on a contract extension, we may not hear about it.
- Realmuto has told the media he’d prefer the negotiations not to be publicized.
- He has politely sidestepped recent questions about his contract, saying he’d “prefer to concentrate on playing”.
Following the trade deadline, GM Matt Klentak refused to answer a question asking for a status update on the situation.
Ugh. What now?
Sign JT Realmuto!
Since trading top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez and others to Florida last year for his contract, JT Realmuto has done nothing but wow fans. He hits for power. He throws out runners at league-topping rates.
He’s a whiz at calling a game behind the plate. He’s really good for GIFs. All this for the bargain price of $10 million on an expiring contract.
Yes, $10 million is a lot of money to us commoners. In baseball terms, it’s a pittance for a top-flight player. Last season he made $5.9 million, recorded 25 homers, 83 RBIs, and a WAR rating of 4.5, all career highs.
He and 2019 MVP Corey Bellinger were the only two National Leaguers to earn both Golden Gloves and Silver Sluggers for offensive and defensive prowess.
“Sign J.T” has replaced “Everybody Hits! Woo-hoo!” as the most common battle cry around Citizens Bank Park these days.
Best Catcher in Baseball Deserves A Deal
According to the website Sportrac, Realmuto’s 2020 salary is sixth-highest among MLB catchers. He’s the youngest in the top 10 at 29.
The team’s original salary for 2020 was over $211 million, with over a quarter of that linked to Bryce Harper and Zack Wheeler’s deals. For 2021, the team will have over $76 million in cap space with a lot of players to sign.
Many names on the roster, like Rhys Hoskins and Roman Quinn, are in arbitration years of their contracts, which gives the team a lot of leeway.
David Robertson, who will not pitch this year after Tommy John surgery, may see his contract not renewed, along with inconsistent starter Jake Arrieta.
That would free up about $32 million in space.
The Phils haven’t always gotten the most out of megadeals in the past. Fans still seethe over the millions paid to Ryan Howard as the power hitter’s numbers dwindled and the team’s dynasty run ended after 2011.
Realmuto has likely saved some wear and tear with the chances to DH on days he hasn’t caught, which will be the rule for next season as well.
The team’s fortunes remain cloudy. Entering September, they sit at 15-15, tied with the Marlins for second place in the NL East.
As of now, their record would make the eight-team expanded playoff, either as a wild card or qualifier for second place.
ESPN lists their playoff chances at 64.9 percent, an improvement from just under 50 percent by projections as the season started.
- His teammates and fans have demanded an extension.
- He’s endured a revolving door of suspect relievers and helped break in new starters like Spencer Howard.
Even with the uncertain financial situation entering 2021, the Phillies should be able to offer a 4-5 year extension with $18-22 million of AAV for baseball’s most complete backstop.
Backend the deal to pay more when the coronavirus situation ends and revenue gets more stable if need be.
If possible, announce it before that seven-games-in-five-days atrocity starts in Miami.