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Rumor: Phillies expected to extend J.T. Realmuto

Phillies, J.T. Realmuto

The Philadelphia Phillies are “widely expected” to extend catcher J.T. Realmuto, according to ESPN MLB Insider Jeff Passan.

In an examination of next year’s free-agent class, Passan reported most executives around the league feel it is only a matter of time before the Phillies agree to terms with Realmuto after trading for him last winter:

Free agency may be disappointing, but that probably has more to do with the players than the labor situation.

Betts is nonpareil. The second-best player in the class, J.T. Realmuto, is widely expected to sign a contract extension with Philadelphia. If Marcus Semien repeats his 2019 performance, he could be a $200 million player. Springer should cash in, too, although his age — he’ll be 31 in December — won’t help. Andrelton Simmons (31), DJ LeMahieu (32) and Joc Pederson (28) round out the best position players.

The Phillies acquired Realmuto from the Miami Marlins last February, and the All-Star backstop responded with one of the best all-around seasons of his career.

Realmuto posted the highest fWAR of his career, slashing .275/.328/.493 with 25 homers and 64 total extra-base hits. He also posted some of the best defensive metrics in baseball.

The 28-year-old accrued 11 defensive runs saved and ranked fourth among all catchers with 19.5 framing runs above average, according to Baseball Prospectus.

All-Star catchers are a commodity in the modern era, particularly one such as Realmuto who can slug and provide excellent game management behind the dish.

The Phillies are hoping that the spending last winter as well as the addition of Zack Wheeler will pay dividends toward a more successful year in 2020. But Realmuto himself could be a staple in the City of Brotherly Love well beyond this season alone.