Despite early indications that the Philadelphia Phillies may let star catcher J.T. Realmuto walk, they now seem prepared to offer him a huge deal.
It was utterly ridiculous when the Philadelphia Phillies were talking about how they might not be able to re-sign J.T. Realmuto this off-season. Not a single person believed that they didn’t have the resources to make a play to retain one of the best catchers in the game.
And according to Jayson Stark of The Athletic, they’ve officially made Realmuto a huge five year offer.
It’s about time they started making a play for Realmuto. The Phillies absolutely can not afford to lose him right now. The Atlanta Braves have established dominance over the division. The New York Mets under new owner Steve Cohen have made drastic improvements. The Washington Nationals still have one of the best starting rotations in the league. And even the Miami Marlins are starting to reap the rewards of their rebuild.
The Phillies pushed all their chips into the pot when they signed Bryce Harper. They put the league on notice that they thought they were ready to be a winning team. So far, that move hasn’t led to the success they were hoping for. But with the division rapidly improving around them, they have no room to lose any star-caliber players.
Of course, even if the Phillies do re-sign Realmuto, they’re far from the top of the NL East. They still have a lot of work to do on their roster. They’ll likely be losing Didi Gregorius this year, leaving a whole at shortstop. Adding Archie Bradley was a nice addition, but they had one of the worst bullpens in the league in 2020. Bradley isn’t nearly enough to fix that. They have to address their lack of starting pitching and outfield depth as well.
Just bringing Realmuto back isn’t enough to make this team competitive. But losing him could banish them to the bottom of the division in 2021. Making a reasonable offer to one of the best catchers in the game is a good start, but to keep up in this improving division the Phillies will need to make some more serious moves despite the “financial crunch” they’re facing.