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Report: Phillies re-sign All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto for $115.5 million

Phillies, J.T. Realmuto

The Philadelphia Phillies have re-signed All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto.

Craig Mish of SportsGrid reports Realmuto will return to Philly on a five-year deal worth $115.5 million.

The $23.1 million annual average value surpasses that of the contract signed by former Minnesota Twins star Joe Mauer back in 2010.

Realmuto’s contract is also 36 percent larger than the next-most lucrative contract last signed by a catcher (Brian McCann).

It is somewhat surprising Realmuto finds himself back in Philadelphia considering everything that transpired in 2020.

The Phillies had every opportunity to extend Realmuto before the 2020 season even began. He expressed interest in an extension, and Phillies star Bryce Harper lobbied hard for the front office to pony up the money.

However, former general manager Matt Klentak never made much ground in talks. In fact, the Phillies mostly pushed Realmuto to the back burner. Early happenings at the start of the offseason also appeared to suggest Philly would not re-sign Realmuto.

Klentak stepped down as GM, and managing partner John Middleton suggested the team likely would not spend amid financial losses sustained during the pandemic-shortened season.

But the Phillies have changed their tune ever since making Dave Dombrowski president of baseball operations. Dombrowski has made a number of moves to reconstruct the bullpen and grew increasingly aggressive in efforts to bring back Realmuto.

Now, Philly has its backstop for the future. Realmuto is coming off a season in which he clubbed 11 homers with a career-high .840 OPS. The 29-year-old is perhaps the best two-way catcher in baseball, and the Phillies will hope he also will be part of a future championship club.