Earlier today, Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic reported that the Phillies had "checked in" on the status of star catcher J.T. Realmuto of the Miami Marlins.  After asking for a trade, the Marlins have spent the better part of the offseason looking at trade possibilities for their catcher.  That of course would be any team doing their due diligence, and somewhat of a non-story.

However, Tuesday afternoon it appeared that much more than "checking in" is going on.

Then, the Miami-based Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports calls the discussions "progress".

The Phillies are still heavily expected to land one of the offseason's prized free agents but appear to be willing to wait out the market, with little competition.  But adding Realmuto would be a tremendous improvement, even though Jorge Alfaro has shown great improvement behind the plate.

Realmuto was named a National League All-Star last season and is often referred to as the best catcher in the major leagues at the moment.  On Sirius XM's MLB Network Radio, former Phillies closer Brad Lidge called Realmuto an impact player who could make Phillies NL East rival the Mets into a contender.  Adding Realmuto to the Phillies would certainly point them further towards contention.

The price will likely be steep; Heyman notes the Phillies' top prospects.  But if the Phillies are ready to win now, they can develop others while winning.  The Marlins supposedly are looking for some major league-ready talent, which the Phillies could give in the form of Alfaro and the likes of Nick Williams or even Odubel Herrera.

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