Report: Phillies in Discussions for Catcher J.T. Realmuto
The Phillies remain active at the 2018 Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada, even after agreeing to terms with outfielder Andrew McCutchen on a three-year, $50 million contract. The Phillies are looking to improve in whatever ways possible, even at positions where one might otherwise not expect. How about at catcher?
Yesterday, Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports noted the Phillies were one of seven teams interested.
The Phillies have catcher Jorge Alfaro, who has many pluses but also some holes. Realmuto is an established impact player both behind the plate and at the plate. Realmuto put forth an .825 OPS last season to go with a 4.3 WAR. He is not someone the Marlins will let go on the cheap.
The Marlins and Mets were reportedly discussing a three-way swap that would have landed Noah Syndergaard in the Bronx and Realmuto in Flushing. But that deal has reportedly fallen apart, perhaps creating an opening for the Phillies to jump in.
So what might Realmuto cost the Phillies?
I would imagine a deal would take Alfaro, a young outfielder such as Nick Williams or Odubel Herrera, and some prospects beyond that. According to many published reports, Marlins president Derek Jeter is insisting on major league-ready talent in exchange. As Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic noted earlier, the McCutchen signing opens up outfielders for trade.
While the main motivation is to improve as a team, if the Phillies can keep Realmuto from the rival New York Mets, all the better.