Bryce Harper on JT Realmuto Contract Extension + the State of the MLB
With the MLB season currently in the midst of a hiatus, all contract talks have come to a screeching halt. We were all hoping that before summer kicked off, the Phillies would have JT Realmuto locked in to a long term contract. After losing his arbitration hearing during Spring Training, Realmuto received $10 million of the $12.4 million he was seeking. Still the number wasn’t bad and there were no hard feelings.
Bryce Harper – who has been a huge supporter of bringing his buddy, JT back to the Phillies had this say in an article from Matt Breen of the Inquirer:
“Of course it’s shut down, but I don’t think anybody should fear us not getting J.T. back,” Harper said. “I want him more than anything, so I mean it’s something we need to make happen as an organization. But you know when that time comes then [general manager Matt] Klentak and [John] Middleton will make that decision and hopefully he’s back in Phillies red.”
Bryce coming out and continuously pushing for a Realmuto extension is exactly what you want from your superstar player who inked a 13-year, $330 million contract last year. If he is going to continue to talk about Realmuto and his importance, then I’m here for it and couldn’t agree more.
Speaking with Todd Zolecki of MLB.com:
“I think the Phillies organization absolutely loves J.T. and our team absolutely loves him as well,” Harper said. “He’s the best catcher in baseball. He’s a great person. He’s a great family man. He’s a guy that we need in our clubhouse. I think the Phillies fans understand that as well. Us as an organization, we have to understand that he’s going to help us in the years to come, and if you want the best catcher in baseball, then we’ll make that happen.”
Harper doesn’t seem to be worried about the delay, neither is Matt Klentak.
“I think you all know that we love J.T.,” Klentak said last week. “And he’s a player that we would love to have with us for the long haul. Once we got through his salary arbitration hearing in February, the next item on the agenda so to speak was to resume talks on a longer-term deal. This had to halt those discussions.”
Thanks to Bryce, I’m breathing a little easier today. I do believe the Phillies will get it done once they’re actually able to continue talks – whenever that may be.
Harper has been hanging tight and in good spirits down in Las Vegas, his hometown. The Harper family donated $500,000 to the fight against COVID-19 last week.
“You know, with all the people that don’t know when their next meal is going to be, know when they can go to the grocery store and actually get food or shop, looking at their kids and kind of freaking out that they can’t do anything for them,” Harper said, “just having a family of my own, being able to do these things that we’re able to do, that was the least I could do. It’s something that we really thought about. We’re so fortunate to be able to do that. Why not help out? Especially in a time like this.”
Until baseball can resume – Harper is doing what everyone else is doing and hoping for the good health and safety of everyone during the pandemic.
“First and foremost it’s the health of everybody in this country,” he said. “This is something that is really serious. We can’t just think about ourselves in this situation and us getting back to playing baseball because we want to. Of course, I think there’s a lot of people out there that miss their sports and you miss the competition and things like that, but you also have an opportunity to keep spreading it and it coming back and things like that, so I mean, it’s really serious. We need to think about our neighbors, our elderly and our parents. … As of right now there’s nothing we can really do and we’ve just got to wait until our government kind of tells us what to do. Once Major League Baseball and the union can solidify something and figure that all out, then we’ll get back. But right now we need to come together as a country and do what we can as individuals and citizens and try to help out as much as much as possible.”
Hopefully we’ll get to see Bryce and the boys back at CBP sometime in the near future.