We had kind of resigned ourselves to the idea that J.T. Realmuto won’t be coming back to the Phillies. Nothing that anybody in the organization said sounded remotely positive in terms of bringing back the All-Star catcher, who became a free agent following the conclusion of the 2020 season.
Does the hiring of Dave Dombrowski change that?
Here’s what the new President of Baseball Operations said when asked about that on a recent 94 WIP appearance:
“I don’t sense since joining the organization that there is a testament feeling in any regard. They are still optimistic that we still have a chance to sign him. Everyone wants him on board and loves him. Sometimes these things take a long time to work themselves out. There is still optimism in the organization from John Middleton on down. We will keep our fingers crossed, everyone wants to have him on board. Hopefully we can still get this done.”
Realmuto was thought to be a Mets target, but they went out and signed James McCann to a four-year contract worth about $40 million. That’s an annual average value of about $10 million and helps set the market for a Realmuto contract. McCann is 30 and Realmuto is 29 right now, with a better resume, so if McCann is making that amount, then Realmuto realistically is worth slightly more.
Interestingly enough, Mets President Sandy Alderson said this about their approach to the catcher position in free agency:
Sandy Alderson says the Mets had "great conversations" with the agents for J.T. Realmuto.
He says the team began talking more to James McCann mostly due to timing. McCann was available now and the Mets liked him a lot. It didn't seem likely that Realmuto would sign anytime soon.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) December 14, 2020
Well, that might be a good thing. The thought was that If Realmuto stays on the market with no takers, maybe there’s a legitimate follow-up approach by the Phillies, i.e. he tests the market and doesn’t get what he wants, then the two sides sit down again. That might not happen, but we’ve got our fingers crossed.