Friday, February 8, 2019

Catcher J.T. Realmuto Acquired By The Phillies

The hottest free agent catcher today has found a new home in Philly, and is perhaps a telltale sign that Bryce Harper is indeed going to end up his teammate. There has been long discussion that Mike Trout is going to potentially end up in the same outfield as Harp one day. Is this the makings of the next super team in baseball?

Jamal Collier of reports:

Few teams in baseball entered this offseason with as much excitement as the Phillies, a team with payroll flexibility, a talent-rich farm system and a fan base and team eager to return to the postseason for the first time since 2011. Their front office has often aimed big during this aggressive and ambitious offseason, and on Thursday, they landed one of the prizes of the trade market.
The Phillies acquired All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto from the Marlins for catcher Jorge Alfaro, right-hander Sixto Sanchez, left-hander Will Stewart and $250,000 in international bonus slot money.
Realmuto, who turns 28 next month, is under team control through 2020 and had been the subject of trade rumors and speculation for months, with a long list of teams showing interest. The Phillies finally met Miami's asking price with a package of three players, including their top prospect in Sanchez, to acquire a player general manager Matt Klentak repeatedly called "the best catcher in baseball."
CBS Sports goes deeper into Realmuto's player profile: "Going into his age-28 campaign, Realmuto boasts a career OPS+ of 111. As well, he's a solid defender. Over at Baseball Prospectus, the advanced catching metrics grade Realmuto as having been a major defensive asset in 2017 and a bit above average in 2018. He's also proved himself capable of working more than 1,000 defensive innings in three of his four full seasons in the bigs.  The Phillies are betting that the offensive strides Realmuto made last season are mostly sustainable. On that front, Realmuto in 2018 increased his fly-ball percentage modestly while also making significant strides with his rate of hard-hit balls -- both good signs moving forward. He'll make $5.9 million for the upcoming season and isn't eligible for free agency until after the 2020 season, though the Phillies and Realmuto are expected to discuss a long-term contract extension at some point.

Phillies have visions of signing Mike Trout and pairing him with Bryce Harper... 

Angels superstar Mike Trout, who enters the 2019 season with a pair of MVP awards, a career OPS+ of 175, and a whopping 64.3 WAR across parts of eight big-league seasons. He's under contract with the Halos through the 2020 season, and barring a second big extension (not likely, according to one report) he'll hit the market in time for his age-29 campaign. That's where the Phillies come in. Yes, it's a fit in terms of the Phillies' budget and likely competitive window. Also, Trout is a native of Millville, NJ -- which is fewer than 50 miles away from Philly. 

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