Matt Klentak Talks J.T. Realmuto Extension, Explains “Path” For Odubel Herrera to Return

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Phillies GM Matt Klentak spoke at Spring Training today.

33 minute availability, pretty lengthy, similar to Joe Girardi’s day one comments from earlier in this week.

There were a number of topics discussed, but I’ll pull two quotes, first about J.T. Realmuto and getting a contract extension done:

“I try not to operate with hard deadlines or operate in absolutes, so yes, it would be nice to have some resolution prior to opening day, just so it’s not a distraction, mostly to the player, but even to us during the season. That would be ideal, but in no means do I do that as a hard cap. I still feel very strongly that I would like to do (that extension). Everybody in our organization does. J.T. is a really good player. I say that, but I also hoped he would have settled his arbitration case by now, and that didn’t happen. Frankly, I hope that if we’d have settled his arbitration case, we’d already be at the bargaining table on his extension talks. But as you know, we have to do one before the other, so we have to wait. Once we have a resolution to the one-year number, we’ll come to the table and see if we can find common ground on a long term deal. I hope we can. And if we can’t we can continue those talks during the season or into free agency if we have to.”

Herrera, meantime, was designated for assignment after serving his suspension stemming from a domestic violence incident that took place last July. Klentak was asked if he could foresee a situation in which Odubel finds a way back to the Phillies’ big league roster:

“That’s largely going to be up to him. Odubel served his time. He served his punishment that was bargained between the union and the league. We are not in position to further penalize him, by rule. He is minor league camp, he’s now off the roster. Anything that happens to him from here on out is going to be something that he has to earn. There is a path for him to return, but he is going to have to do everything 100% right, both on the field and off, to even have a chance. Having said that, those things would have to align with an opportunity at the major league level. Ultimately that’s going to be up to him.”

Here’s the full audio of today’s session:



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