MLB Trade Rumors: Phillies Acquire JT Realmuto From Marlins

Lynette Rowe
February 9, 2019

The Miami Marlins on Thursday traded their All-Star catcher to the division rival Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for catcher Jorge Alfaro, highly regarded pitching prospects Sixto Sanchez and Will Stewart and worldwide bonus pool money.

Sanchez, 21, was considered the No. 1 prospect in the Phillies' system and is considered the 27th-best prospect in all of baseball, according to MLB Pipeline.

In October, J.T. Realmuto's agent predicted the Miami Marlins' All-Star catcher would be with another team by spring training.

The Philadelphia Phillies pulled off a blockbuster deal on Thursday.

An idea of how far #Marlins went in this process: when #Yankees earlier this offseason were trying to get Realmuto to spin to #Mets for Syndergaard, Mia requested Gary Sanchez and Miguel Andujar.

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"We've heard nothing but outstanding things about J.T. Realmuto and his worth ethic and his makeup and his leadership, the type of teammate he is", Klentak said.

And to give Phillies fans even more to dream about.

"We're talking about the best catcher in all of baseball, so of course he was popular", Hill said. The 20-year-old missed a majority of the 2018 season with elbow inflammation. "Electric stuff - a pitcher we think can develop and lead a championship rotation".

Alfaro, in three seasons with the Phillies, has hit.270 with 15 home runs. Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets that two of the other organizations that had been pursuing Realmuto now believe he's destined to land with the Phils.

Miami's rebuilding project will probably continue for several years under CEO Derek Jeter, whose group bought the team after the 2017 season. After Realmuto notched the go-ahead single in a Marlins victory over the Nationals last season, Harper declared, "If we had that guy, we would have won". That could be the first year of a new deal, or the Phillies could sign Realmuto to a new deal that begins in 2019, essentially voiding his arbitration agreement with the Marlins. He's been on the trade block all offseason - and before that - as the 27-year-old is both a standout and can't be a free agent until 2021. Realmuto seems more likely to target an average annual salary in the range of Posey's $19.875 million per season, though Martin's five-year contract length is more realistic than the eight years that Posey signed for after winning the National League MVP in his age-26 season.

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