Report: Phillies Acquire Realmuto for Sanchez, Alfaro, Stewart

PHOTO CREDIT: BRAD MILLS-USA TODAY SPORTS

I have to say, I absolutely did not see this trade getting to the finish line, but the Phillies have reportedly struck a deal with the Miami Marlins for catcher J.T. Realmuto:

The Phils also kicked in an international bonus slot.

Tucked away in the depths of baseball anonymity with the Marlins since his Major League debut in 2014, the 27-year-old Realmuto has emerged in recent seasons as one of baseball’s best catchers. He led all catchers in fWAR a season ago, slashing .277/.340/.484 over 125 games. Throw in 30 doubles, 21 homers, and 74 RBIs from a guy who primarily worked behind the dish on a talent-deprived team in a pitcher-friendly park, and it’s not hard to imagine those numbers will only increase with the Phillies. And it’s not just about the offense. He also has an excellent arm. According to MLB StatCast, his 1.90 second pop time was the best of any catcher that attempted at least five throws to second base last season. The man can run, too:

That’s the good news. Now the bad.

The package of prospects including top prospect Sixto Sanchez, Jorge Alfaro, and minor league pitcher Will Stewart is a steep price to pay for Realmuto’s two remaining years of control, and one that, frankly, feels like a lot. Here’s what I wrote yesterday when word of a possible deal first broke:

It’s not that Sanchez should be untouchable, but I don’t view the upgrade from Alfaro to Realmuto worth the value of the Phillies’ top overall prospect. Look at it this way. At Realmuto’s peak value, he’s probably a three-win upgrade from Alfaro. Is that move, with a roster that’s not yet a viable contender sans Harper/Machado, worth punting on a 20-year-old pitcher that has elite front-end starter potential, or selling short on what such potential could fetch in return? That’s a no for me.

Maybe it works out, but my initial reaction is that this feels like a little bit of a reach. This is not to say that Sanchez is on the brink of becoming the next Pedro Martinez. There are both injury concerns to consider and the lack of certainty regarding what a 20-year-old prospect will ultimately become:

Plus, prospects bust. Dom Brown. Kyle Drabek. We’ve been down this road before. In fact, I will readily concede that Philadelphia sports fans, particularly The Process crowd :::ducks:::, have generally come to overvalue assets and unknown entities. Still, I’m not sure the value of these particular prospects is best utilized by whatever the upgrade is by going from Alfaro to Realmuto. Seemingly, unless the injury concerns from the Phillies are significant enough that the team has reason to believe Sanchez won’t pan out, one would think there would be a better deal, particularly in a climate where teams value youth/control.

To me, the overall evaluation of this trade is not independent of how the Harper and Machado sagas play out. Was the addition of Realmuto THE MOVE, one that serves as spin, compensating for what would surely be a sense of disappointment should they miss out on one of these guys, or the precursor to a blockbuster signing of a superstar in the coming days that will make the Phillies the team to fucking beat once again? If that’s the case, then screw it, I’m in. Let’s go. But until we have that answer, it’s tough to fully gauge the deal. What we do know right now is that the Phillies just got better in the short-term, we just don’t know at what cost.

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10 Comments

  • Esports are the future February 7, 2019 at 2:39 pm

    He is like Harper’s best friend in real life… this may be the last thing you needed to grab the young Jedi!

    IT HAS BEGUN!! – Shang Tsung

    Reply
  • No Whiners February 7, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    This is a season-altering trade for the good, and hopefully for multiple seasons. Any naysayers complaining about trading a guy with chronic arm injuries and 15 career minor league wins in 4 seasons, none about class A-level, knows jack$hit about the game. And Alfaro couldn’t catch a cold.

    Reply
    • Little Mermaid (Blu [e] Ray) February 7, 2019 at 2:47 pm

      ….but they could have resigned Ramos and held on to their top orospect.

      Reply
  • Steve Mason Elite Unemployed NHL Goalie February 7, 2019 at 3:04 pm

    Great move. Get Harper now.

    Reply
  • B. Colangelo February 7, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    My shirt collars got in the way of The Process.
    Oh! And my wife’s 20 Twitter accounts.
    Find a new slant Wanks!

    Reply
  • I really feel sorry for dumpster fire in Little H a v a n a February 7, 2019 at 4:05 pm

    The organization run by “Respect”. It will always be a losing team and “Respect” will find out what it means to never put a relevant team on the field. They will get their 3000-5000 fans a night. Amazingly the team won two championships in 97 and 03 by going out and purchasing a winning team. With no salary cap and no luxury tax back then it was doable. It doesn’t matter now. It seems like it was hundred years ago. Respect thinks with patience he will field the next Royals or Astros. It will be unsustainable because the team has no income from the gate or TV. They might have one or two chances to make the playoffs and capture lightning in a bottle. Then they will trade all their best players away to Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, Dodgers or Phils.

    Reply
  • i really feel sorry for you February 7, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    “respect” and the Marlins each have more World Series wins than the Phillies do in the last 30 years

    Reply
  • I Know Baseball February 7, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    This trade makes PERFECT sense for the Phillies if they can sign Harper (or to a lesser extent Machado). Go all in.

    Reply
  • Analytics Beta Male February 7, 2019 at 5:20 pm

    They will contend despite Kapler, who will get labeled a genius for winning 90+ games when really most managers could take this team to the playoffs.

    Reply
  • Its happening February 7, 2019 at 8:54 pm

    Remember when you were talking bout James Ennis and I made this official around noon…

    Here’s next part for your story…

    HARPER is here by March 1..can I wrk here since my sources are better or should I do my own thing

    Reply
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