The Phillies were briefly linked to J.T. Realmuto earlier this winter, but it seemed unlikely the Marlins would make a deal within the NL East. That may still be true, but Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports says the Phillies remain a part of the conversation:
Keep an eye on Phillies in JT Realmuto trade possibilities. Sounds as though there could be some traction there.
— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) February 5, 2019
Traction, baby. Traction.
Is this a vague generality, one without substantive information? Yes. Do I care? Not at all. I needed some new baseless speculation to get the juices flowing, and I’m all about Realmuto.
Jon Heyman adds this:
Marlins like phillies prospects (and they have a young catcher Jorge Alfaro) in Realmuto talks, but hearing many teams are still in, including dodgers, padres, reds, braves and rays. @Ken_Rosenthal and @TBrownYahoo reported phils are back in mix
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 5, 2019
Realmuto led all catchers in fWAR a season ago while slashing .277/.340/.484 over 125 games. Throw in 30 doubles, 21 homers, and 74 RBI from a guy who primarily works behind the dish, and, well, that’s what I would call a pretty strong season.
Still, it’s hard to see the Phillies getting to the finish line here. Three factors will make this trade difficult: Realmuto is good, he’s under team control through 2020, and he’s in the division. Just add this to the list of uncertainties surrounding the team as the start of spring training fast approaches.
My guess is that we should have a pretty good idea of what the 2019 Phillies will look like by, say, the March 29 season opener.