Takeaways From JT Realmuto Press Conference
The Philadelphia Phillies held an official press conference today announcing the re-signing of star catcher JT Realmuto. Joe Girardi, Sam Fuld, and Dave Dombrowski all joined Realmuto during the presser to show their support for the signing and had nothing but great things to say about the best catcher in baseball.
There are many things to take away from this press conference. Perhaps the most important thing to know is that Realmuto really did not want to be anywhere else, which bodes well for his morale and happiness overall within the organization and in the city.
“My smile says it all. My teammates are my best friends and have become family to me. They put a ton of pressure on the organization. Excited to see how good this team can be, but we have to get better. Defensively and pitching, there is a ton of improvements that we can make,”
The #SignJT movement was obviously an integral part of the offseason talk across the fanbase and Philadelphia sports media. It began in during the season itself, and did not stop until ink was put on paper making him the highest paid catcher in baseball history at $23.1 million AAV and breaking the previous record held by Joe Mauer with $23 million AAV.
Realmuto had previously declined to comment on the #SignJT movement, but when asked about it today he said, “[#SignJT] played a huge roll, fan base embraced us since day one. Backed me the whole way, and I really appreciated that. Talked to wife about how different it was playing in Philly then anywhere else”
One of the biggest questions, and perhaps why the deal took so long, was with spending a great deal of money on catcher where, typically, is a position that ages quicker than others. Dombrowski commented on this issue “You have solid performers with JT, their ageing process is a bit different. Talented and hardworking all plays into that. Sure you’re not the same when you’re 35 compared to 30, but we know JT has the ability.” Aging and injury were especially questions for JT, as he had some hip problems that he also addressed in this press conference. JT Reamuto on his hip, “Hip is great. Playing last games of season took me back to square one. Didn’t hinger progress, just felt tightness at times. Diagnosis was a hip flexor strain, just needed time to heal. Wasn’t 100% when I came back, but haven’t felt it since.”
Full Transcript of the Interview courtesy of TLL’s own Luke Arcaini:
Dave Dombrowski seemed calm, cool, and collected during the press conference. That’s something that we haven’t seen out of a Philadelphia front office member in quite some time. Dombrowski was asked if there were any other free agents they were looking to go after. His response, aside from this conference being centered around Realmuto, was probably one of the biggest takeaways from an organizational update standpoint. “Still a lot of free agents out there. There is a couple of pending things that we have. Pitching still remains a priority thing to us. No more hole at catcher.”
The Phillies appear to be trending upward this offseason. They have spent some money, re-signed some of their key guys in the lineup, and are continuing to strengthen the bullpen. Pitching is still priority, as Dombrowski outlined in the press conference, but the Phillies retained the BCIB!
Mandatory Credit: Denis Kennedy (@dk__create)