Here’s the latest on a trio of clubs from the NL East:
- Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto, who has proven to be one of the most valuable acquisitions of last offseason, suggested back in July that he’d be open to signing an extension with the club. While a deal hasn’t come together yet, it looks as if the team’s interested in locking up Realmuto for the long haul, according to Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Lauber notes Realmuto could soon become the game’s latest nine-figure catcher, which would place him in company with the likes of the Giants’ Buster Posey and now-retired Twins icon Joe Mauer. Realmuto, a former Marlin, has been superb in 2019 – his age-28 campaign – and has continued to make a case for one of the richest paydays in the history of his position. With just one more season of control left after this one, the Phillies will have to act fast if they’re going to prevent Realmuto from leaving over the next year-plus. Having traded elite pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez for Realmuto over the winter, it stands to reason the Phillies will make a serious attempt to keep the two-time All-Star backstop in the fold.
- In an interview with Andre Fernandez of The Athletic (subscription required), Marlins manager Don Mattingly once again indicated he’d like to manage the club in 2020. But if a new agreement between Mattingly, whose contract is set to expire, and the Marlins doesn’t come together after the season, he’ll be willing to go elsewhere. Mattingly said it’s his “mindset” to manage someplace in 2020, whether it’s Miami or another MLB city. The 58-year-old is in his fourth season in Miami, and though the win-loss results haven’t been pretty, Mattingly’s respected enough to potentially end up on other teams’ radars if the Marlins don’t retain him.
- Mets first baseman/outfielder Dominic Smith and right-hander Robert Gsellman are still hoping to return this season, per Tim Healey of Newsday. Time is obviously running out on the injured pair, however. Smith hasn’t played since July 27 on account of a stress reaction in his left foot, but the 24-year-old was among the Mets’ most effective hitters of 2019 before then. Gsellman has been down for just under a month with a partial lat tear – an injury that cut off an unspectacular campaign for the 26-year-old reliever.