To maintain their star participant behind the plate, the Philadelphia Phillies will award J.T. Realmuto the biggest contract given to a free agent catcher. The 2 sides agreed on Tuesday to a five-year, $115.5 million deal, topping the earlier document for highest annual pay for a catcher — $23 million, set by Joe Mauer in 2011 — by $100,000 a 12 months.
The deal was confirmed by an individual aware of Realmuto’s contract who was not licensed to remark publicly as a result of it was pending a bodily examination.
All winter, the Phillies, who disenchanted in 2020 regardless of having a gifted roster, had been seen as the favourite to retain Realmuto, the clear-cut greatest catcher in baseball.
Realmuto, who will flip 30 in March, is a two-time All-Star, two-time Silver Slugger, one-time Gold Glove Award winner, and a uncommon twin menace at catcher, recognized for his standout athleticism.
Throughout his All-Star campaigns with the Miami Marlins in 2018 and the Phillies in 2019, Realmuto hit .276 with an .822 on-base-plus-slugging share and averaged 23 dwelling runs a season. Throughout the pandemic shortened 60-game 2020 season, he hit .266 with an .840 O.P.S. and 11 dwelling runs. Though he performs a bodily demanding place the place gamers’ abilities decline quickly, Realmuto has commonly ranked among the many greatest defenders and quickest runners amongst catchers in recent times.
Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants ($167 million over 9 years) and the previous Minnesota Twin Mauer ($184 million over eight years) — each of whom received Most Worthwhile Participant Awards of their careers — each signed offers bigger than Realmuto’s contract, however these had been extensions. Realmuto topped catcher Brian McCann, who signed a 5 12 months, $85-million contract as a free agent with the Yankees in 2013.
The Phillies have spent massive in recent times, signing gamers like pithcers Jake Arrieta and Zack Wheeler, and the outfielder Bryce Harper. They’re anticipated to have a payroll among the many prime 10 in baseball in 2021, however haven’t had a successful season or reached the playoffs since 2011. They went 28-32 in 2020.
The highway can be powerful once more for the Phillies within the Nationwide League East this 12 months, with the defending division champion Atlanta Braves, the Washington Nationals and the Mets having upgraded their rosters this winter. The Marlins had been additionally a shock playoff crew final 12 months below the expanded format.