After an arduous offseason and a lot of back and forth, the Philadelphia Phillies finally agree to terms with catcher JT Realmuto. Realmuto, who was reportedly looking for a contract within the $200M range, never saw his market materialize in the way that he had hoped.
Realmuto is still a top five catcher in the game, however. The two time All-Star had spent the last two seasons in Philadelphia and seven overall seasons in the NL East. Since the start of the 2017 season, he’s posted an .812 OPS and won a gold glove for his defense. He has one of the best arms in the game, and is renown for his pitch calling. He’s graded a plus in pitch framing as well. Realmuto is also a notable baserunner, averaging 10 stolen bases over 162 games. That said, between COVID-19 making teams less profitable in 2020 as well as Realmuto already being north of thirty by the time the 2021 season begins, it was hard to picture somebody giving him the money he was asking for.
For the Phillies, signing Realmuto longterm was the top priority, having already given up plus talent such as Sixto Sanchez to a young Marlins team just to acquire him. $200M was noted to be out of their price range, already having contracts such as Bryce Harper’s on the books. With the market not materializing, the Phillies were able to get their man at a discounted rate.
This averages out to around $23.1M annually, which makes it the record AAV for any catcher of all-time. The previous record was $23M for Joe Mauer’s $184M contract with the Twins. It isn’t noted yet whether or not there’s deferred money, an opt out or any options at the end of the deal. PSE will keep you updated as more information is available.