Free Agency Started at 9AM. The Phillies need to get to work.
MLB Free Agency started this morning at 9AM sharp and the Phillies have yet to re-sign JT Realmuto. To be frank, this is unacceptable.
Realmuto is one of the top players in the free agent market this offseason along with George Springer and Trevor Bauer. There have been reports that multiple teams have expressed interest in Realmuto.
The Phillies were in contract negotiations with Realmuto back in February and March before the world shut down due to COVID-19. Since then, we’ve gotten nothing but mixed messages and lousy excuses from the Phillies front office. Middleton did not rule out re-signing JT but stated in a smug, condescending Zoom press conference after the season that the team will have to wait to calculate the loss of revenue due to the pandemic and to “ask the Mayor of Philadelphia” if fans will be allowed to attend games in 2021.
Ex-GM Phillies Matt Klentak said they were “thankful for 2-years of control for JT Realmuto” which was puzzling given the fact that Sixto Sanchez looked fantastic in Miami this past season. That quote along with a laundry list of bad decisions by Klentak, might explain why Klentak is now sweeping floors in the dugout instead of making GM decisions.
Realmuto will turn 30 in March and obviously, given the current state of the world and Major League Baseball, it’s not at an optimal time to enter free agency. Regardless, he’s considered the best catcher in baseball and will most likely have a team pay him much more than what he’s really worth. Unfortunately, that’s the game teams have to play and the Phillies should be at the front of the line.
Per NBC Sports Philly, a source close to Realmuto says that he wants to stay in Philadelphia and is not particularly keen on playing baseball in New York. If true, that’s good news for the Phillies organization assuming they were truthful about getting a deal done with JT in free agency.
How Free Agency Works:
- MLB Teams have 5 days following the World Series to submit qualifying offers to their own free-agent players.
- This year’s qualifying offer is $18.9 million.
- The player then has 10 days to accept or reject the offer.
- If the player accepts it, he immediately becomes signed for 2021.
Obviously, Realmuto will get a qualifying offer. I doubt he will accept it but maybe with the current layout of free agency and the uncertainty around teams willing to spend money, we could get lucky. If he chooses to reject it, the Phillies can still attempt to sign him throughout the offseason in the open free agent market.
You have to think that Didi Gregorius is the only other player that the Phillies would give a qualifying offer to and if I was Didi, I would accept it. That would be an ideal situation for the Phillies but we’ll have to wait and see what other teams express interest in Didi and what he believes he can get in the open market.
Jake Arrieta, Tommy Hunter, Jose Alvarez, David Robertson and Brandon Workman are also all free agents. I’m not even going to go into any detail and instead will provide you a yes or no answer on whether or not we should re-sign any of them.
Buckle up Phillies fans. Things are about to get real. The fate of 2021 starts today.
Mandatory Credit: Baseball Prospectus