The Phillies won their arbitration hearing against catcher J.T. Realmuto, tweets MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand. He’ll earn the $10MM salary figure the team submitted for his final season of club control. Realmuto’s camp at CAA had filed for a $12.4MM sum (as shown in MLBTR’s 2020 Arbitration Tracker).
Realmuto, who’ll turn 29 next month, enjoyed a strong first year with the Phillies in 2019 after being acquired in a trade that sent catcher Jorge Alfaro and top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez to the Marlins. In 145 games and 593 plate appearances, Realmuto slashed .275/.328/.493 with 25 home runs, 36 doubles, three triples and even nine stolen bases. He also paced the Majors with a 47 percent caught-stealing rate behind the dish and posted some of the best framing marks of his career.
The Phillies have made their interest in working out a long-term deal with Realmuto, and he’s voiced an openness if not a desire to remain in Philly for the long haul as well. While some might question whether the loss in an arb hearing will fracture that potential for a contract extension, Realmuto himself previously indicated that he doesn’t view the arbitration process in a negative light. “I know it’s not the Phillies trying to slight me at all,” he told reporters last month. “It’s more the system. There’s no hard feelings there.”
Given general manager Matt Klentak’s repeated praise for Realmuto, it’d be a surprise if the two sides didn’t at least try to work out an extension that’d keep the two-time All-Star, two-time Silver Slugger and one-time Gold Glove Award winner from reaching the open market next winter. As it stands, though, Realmuto ranks among the top five projected free agents next year.
With the Phillies’ win over Realmuto, teams are up 7-4 against players in the arbitration results in 2020. The Red Sox (Eduardo Rodriguez), Dodgers (Joc Pederson) Twins (Jose Berrios), Braves (Shane Greene), Brewers (Josh Hader) and Rockies (Tony Wolters) have each won arbitration cases that went to trial. The Dodgers also lost a case, though (Pedro Baez). Marlins first baseman Jesus Aguilar, Angels outfielder Brian Goodwin and Astros infielder Aledmys Diaz have won hearings against their clubs as well.