The Philadelphia Phillies have found a way to keep All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto with the organization. According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Realmuto and the Phillies came to terms on a five-year, $155.5 million contract on Tuesday.
Realmuto will make $23.1 million annually, which makes him the highest-paid catcher in the history of the league in terms of average salary. The previous record was held by the San Francisco Giants’ Buster Posey, who earns $22.1 million per year.
Realmuto previously rejected the Phillies’ qualifying offer of $18.9 million, hitting free agency while expecting a record-setting deal. The organization was initially reluctant to give him one but eventually caved when the 29-year-old star started receiving serious offers from other teams.
In the end, it worked out for both sides. Phillies won’t lose a world-class player that they paid a steep price to get while Realmuto got the money and will continue his career in familiar surroundings.
Philadelphia acquired J.T. Realmuto in 2019 in a blockbuster trade with the Miami Marlins. The move paid off immediately, as Realmuto batted .275 while having 25 home runs and 83 RBIs. He was selected to the All-MLB First Team at the end of the season while also receiving his second consecutive All-Star nod.
In the shortened 2020 MLB season, Realmuto remained productive despite the Phillies’ collective struggles. He had a batting average of .266 with 11 home runs and 32 RBIs while making the All-MLB Second Team.