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Phillies bringing back J.T. Realmuto on five-year, $115.5 million deal

  • January 26, 2021

Free agent catcher J.T. Realmuto is staying in Philadelphia, agreeing to a five-year, $115.5 million deal with the Phillies on Tuesday, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.

The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not yet been announced.

Realmuto has been one of the best catchers in baseball in recent years – offensively and behind the plate. Since 2016, he leads all backstops in RBI, runs, stolen bases and extra-base hits, batting .282 with an .803 OPS over that span.

Realmuto spent the past two years with the Phillies, coming over in a trade with the Miami Marlins prior to the 2019 season. Philadelphia hoped the addition of Realmuto – and the signing of free agent Bryce Harper that winter – would help end its postseason drought that goes back to 2011, but the team fell short both years.

The 29-year-old has thrown out 36% of would-be base-stealers in his career, well above the league average of 27% during that time. His 47% mark in 2019 was tops in the majors and earned him the NL Gold Glove award. 

Realmuto joined the Phillies prior to the 2019 season.

Pitch-framing statistics show Realmuto has been one of the best in baseball at earning extra strikes for his pitchers. According to Baseball Savant, Realmuto saved eight runs with framing in 2019 and three in the shortened 2020 campaign.

The Marlins took Realmuto in the third round – 104th overall – in the 2010 MLB draft and he made his big-league debut in 2014.

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