Is J.T. Realmuto Worth a 200 Million Dollar Deal?
As this MLB season comes to an end Phillies fans are seeing their worst nightmare come true, J.T. Realmuto will be heading into free agency. Despite the huge #SignJT movement from fans and Bryce Harper, the Phillies and Realmuto never came to terms on an extension.
Reports have come out that Realmuto is looking to make history with his next contract, aiming for a deal around the $200 million range. No catcher has ever received a contract like this, which begs the question is Realmuto worth record money?
Realmuto is coming off a shortened 2020 campaign where he slashed .266/.349/.491, hit 11 home runs and drove in 32 runs. In his two “full” seasons as a Phillie, he has hit .273 with 36 home runs and 115 runs batted in. Along with those numbers, Realmuto was also named to the NL All-Star team in 2019.
One thing that Realmuto has shown is that he wants to be out there every day. Out of 222 possible games the past two seasons he has appeared in 192 of them. Whether it is behind the plate, at first base, or DH Realmuto is a workhorse and deserves to be paid like a guy who is in the lineup daily.
The biggest standout of Realmuto’s game is what he brings defensively behind the plate. When it comes to defensive catchers he is arguably the best in the MLB. Realmuto showed this in 2019 when he put on a defensive spectacle. During his All-Star campaign, he caught 43 runners stealing and posted a CS% of 47%.
It is no secret that J.T. Realmuto is one of if not the top players at his position. Signing him to an extension should be a no-brainer for the Phillies. Especially because the last thing this team needs is a disgruntled Bryce Harper for the remainder of his time here in Philadelphia.
Looking back there are two contracts that catchers have received that Realmuto is looking to surpass. Joe Mauer’s 8-year $184 million contract he signed with the Twins and Buster Posey’s 8-year $159 million contract with the Giants. Mauer and Posey were 28 and 26 years old respectively when they signed these deals. At 29 years old Realmuto is most likely looking for something in this same range of years.
Suggested offer: 8-years, $192 million
Although Realmuto doesn’t have the accolades of Mauer and Posey when they signed those record deals, this is the kind of offer it will take to keep Realmuto in Phillies’ pinstripes. This deal would put him at an AAV of $24 million, slightly below Bryce Harper.
With the money the Phillies have coming off the books this year signing Realmuto to this AAV shouldn’t be an issue. If the Phillies don’t offer Realmuto this type of contract another team will, and they cannot afford to lose one of their key pieces moving forward.
Mandatory Credit: The Philadelphia Inquirer