When Dave Dombrowski agreed to become the Phillies president of baseball operations, it felt like only a matter of time before JT Realmuto was back in the fold. Dombrowski wasn’t going to take the job without the stalwart catcher back in the lineup, right? Today, the two sides came to terms to bring Realmuto back to Philly.
Craig Mish of SportsGrid was the first to report the news:
Realmuto becomes the highest paid catcher in the sport on an average annual basis. He will break Joe Mauer’s old mark of $23 million. Realmuto is also set to cash in on some deferred money so all of the mega contract won’t get paid in the first five years of the deal.
Dombrowski is known for his aggressive nature so it’s easy to imagine bringing JT back was item number one on the to-do list. It was thought earlier this offseason that Realmuto was as good as gone. At the end of the day, the two sides got a deal done.
There was tremendous pressure on the organization. After trading away Sixto Sanchez to originally acquire Realmuto, they couldn’t just let him walk out the door. With new Mets owner Steve Cohen coming to town, they should feel lucky New York pivoted and signed James McCann. It’s unclear if there were any other strong suitors out there.
Realmuto, 29, recorded a batting line of .266/.349/.491 in 2020. In 2020, Realmuto also slashed 11 home runs with an OPS+ of 123. Realmuto got this kind of money because he’s recognized as one of if not the best offensive catcher in the sport. Time will tell if he can age well throughout the contract.