He’s Back

The Philadelphia Phillies Sign Catcher J.T. Realmuto to a Five-Year, $115.5 Million Contract

Shane Olexa, Reporting Journalist

On Tuesday, January 26, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that Catcher J.T. Realmuto and the Philadelphia Phillies were in an agreement on a five-year, $115.5 million contract. According to ESPN, Realmuto is the first catcher in MLB history to sign a contract worth over $100 million. The Phillies arguably got the best catcher in baseball back. In 2019, Realmuto had a batting average of .275, 25 home runs, 148 hits, and 83 runs batted in. This is certainly good news for Phillies superstar Right Fielder Bryce Harper, who urged the Phillies to sign Realmuto in the past. Harper yelled “Sign Him” after Realmuto had hit a home run in summer camp last season referring to Realmuto. 

The Phillies recently signed reliever Archie Bradley to a $6 million, one-year contract and he even joined in on the “Sign J.T.” action. “Hopefully, me being on board, we can get our guy J.T. back.” It’s clear how much Realmuto means to this team and he is essential for this team to make a playoff push. With President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski at the wheel, the future seems bright for the Phillies. Dombrowski was the General Manager and President of the Detroit Tigers from 2002 to 2015. He was then hired by the Boston Red Sox and became the Vice President of Baseball Operations. He joined the Phillies in late 2020.

The NL East is stacked. There is no questioning it. The Mets acquired former Indians superstar, Francisco Lindor and are closing in on signing Trevor Bauer. They are now considered to be the favorites to win the division. The Nationals acquired reliever Brad Hand, bolstered their rotation with Jon Lester and added to their lineup with the additions of Kyle Schwarber and Josh Bell. The Marlins haven’t done much this offseason, but proved the doubters wrong last season when they made it all the way to the NLDS. The Braves made a contribution to their roster by signing pitchers Charlie Morton and Drew Smyly. One thing is clear: the Phillies are going to have their hands full this year in their attempt to win the division. Realmuto helps their chances, but they need help from outside of the organization.

The Phillies need Realmuto to be a contender in the NL East. If the Phillies wish to do this, they have to bolster their bullpen, solidify the shortstop position by resigning Didi Gregorius, and add to their starting rotation via free agency. There are a lot of quality players left on the block who could help the Phillies, but Realmuto’s presence is key. There should be no question about that. Harper and Realmuto could be the beginning of something big in the City of Brotherly Love, but they can’t do it alone.