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.
he’s worth at least twice that
Strange how this year’s hearings went. He’s another that lost that surprised me and none of yesterday’s player wins seemed appropriate in my view.
Double checked. Each from yesterday were much smaller dollars. Still don’t get what more JTR could have done career wise.
None of yesterday’s players were arguing for a 110% raise over an Arb2 salary. It’s less about the number itself and more about where the raise fits among the previously established precedents within the constructs of MLB’s arbitration system.
It’s an archaic and dated exercise, but I also doubt arbitration is going anywhere.
And that’s a real shame. At the VERY least, I wish they would modernize the process so as to value the stats and evaluations that ballclubs in 2020 actually value. As it stands now, it’s almost as if arb eligible players might have to make the decision to do what’s best for the club or just pad the counting stats that seemingly impress the out-of-date system.
Should be a risk to both sides if they can’t agree. No automatic raises. Make them be up earned but then give a greater reward if the player has consistently out performed leading up to the hearing. More would then settle.
Its because his season was almost all D
I disagree there, I seen a lot of the Phillies last season, and as good as Harper was, JT was the best player on the field, not even close….
I don’t care what he says losing an arbitration has to have a negative effect on how you view the franchise and it would take huge bucks for him to sign a new contract now basically 8 or 9 months before free agency
unless you are logocal and realize its a business and that’s how it works.
Him going to arbitration was just as much about pushing the number up for catchers in the future,than it was for himself.
Mustang your nuts
Not according to the professional arbitrator. I mean, it is what it is.
He will make more than twice that in AAV when he signs an extension and especially if he hits the open market. With Philly, he’s looking at 23M per year over 5 likely and if he goes to FA, more like 26-28.
Middleton -“Don’t worry , JT , I’ll up the signing bonus on the extension by 2.4 million”.
I wouldn’t be surprised if this sours Realmutos view the of the Phillies
Clearly you didn’t read the article.
Everyone else would be surprised
It’s a business. And it’s not like he’ll be toiling away at minimum wage.
Is it just me, or wouldn’t it make more sense for the Phillies to just have given Realmuto the $12.4 million he asked for? The difference of $2 million is negligible for them, and it would create goodwill with Realmuto going forward in regard to negotiating a long-term deal. I know Realmuto said there are no hard feelings over this, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to give him the $2 million extra, and its not like the Phillies were right at the luxury tax threshold or anything, very little risk for them.
Eh, baseball teams are all cheapskates. I’m rather sure that the Phillies didn’t bother to think about this and were just happy to save $2+ million, which is ironic because that figure is peanuts for every MLB team, even the Rays and A’s.
Your handle seems accurate
Cheapskates? They are still paying him $10 million for this season. People really need to look up the definition of cheap.
But Realmuto is a superstar. If you think a superstar doesn’t deserve 10 million, you are seriously undervaluing him in today’s market. In fact, he probably deserves way more than 10 million.
Superstar is a stretch. He is a catcher who hits mid 20 HRs. That is not uncommon. He is the best overall catcher, some would argue but still None of the catchers in MLB should be considered Superstars. Nothing he does puts him in an MVP conversation, sorry not playing homer.
Realmuto’s career high OPS is .825. That’s not “superstar” territory. He is likely the best catcher in the game, but “superstar” elite territory is upper .900’s and 1.000’s territory.
It has nothing to do with the $2.4MM right now — or the $1.2MM if they settled at the midpoint. Every arbitration ruling becomes a data point for future rulings. Giving Realmuto that $2.4MM extra gives agencies a huge new precedent in arguing for greater raises down the line.
Teams basically never care about the actual amount over which they’re negotiating in a hearing; it’s all about the long game. If every team over the past decade had just met the player in the middle or even met their asking price, the Phillies and Realmuto probably would’ve been negotiating a deal worth more than $20MM for the 2020 season.
It’s why players are willing to go to hearings to set a new precedent by as little as $50-100K and why teams draw such a hard line:
True, Steve, but the comment concerned the Phillies and a possible Realmuto extension negotiation leverage. It was not stating that that teams should ust give players whatever they wanted.
If the Phillies give him X amount of money it sets precedents for similar players entering arbitration. A 2.4MM difference would create an even bigger difference down the road. If one team doesn’t go through the process then it hurts other teams later or even themselves later.
Realmuto wouldn’t be any likelier to take a deal because the Phillies met his asking price in arbitration, and the Phillies aren’t going to make that type of concession in hopes of him doing so.
Realmuto has been candid about his understanding of the process. He and his agents also know what he wants in an extension; he’s a year from free agency and isn’t going to take a $5-10MM discount because the Phillies made an arb compromise.
If he wants an additional five years and $110MM — a number I’m just making up, to be clear — he’s going to sign when the Phillies offer five years and $110MM, regardless of arbitration proceedings.
See, for me that makes sense as a starting point, only because he’s a catcher. He’s probably worth more than that but because of the demand of his position he could easily decline in the next few years (not saying he will, he has improved every year). I think they will give him 25m a year though, over 5 or 6.
Nice take Steve. Appreciated it.
Ok, thanks for the explanation. However if they had just given him a $12.4 million contract for 2020, would that still count as an arbitration ruling as opposed to a 1-year deal in lieu of arbitration?
The hearing is standard procedure throughout MLB, but they’ve been penny-pinching to avoid the luxury tax since signing Zach Chris Wheeler..They still have a team filled with deficiencies despite the high payroll.
Probably no better than a third place team, but I’m still very much looking forward to the season because anything can happen.
An extra 2.4mil under that tax line could come in handy around the deadline.Figure that’s 4 months into a 6 month season,so pro-rated that’s just about a 7.2m salary for the season at that point.
A little surprised he lost, considering he’s probably the best overall C in the game.
Really dumb he couldn’t win the arb with his track record.
Couldn’t beleive the would be nase stealer percentage.
Haven’t seen that since the 80s
He asked for too much.While the 12.4m might look cheap,the previous record for a catcher was 8.275.Trying to push it up an extra 4m+,was a little excessive.Same time,I thought the Phillies offer was light,but they probably did that knowing his number was high.
Provided he maintains his metrics and health this year Realmuto will get that $2.4M back in an extension or, more likely, on the open market after the season. I do agree, though, that the arb process needs to be overhauled.
Wonder if he gave them the same look of disappointment as he gave Jared Hughes.
If the Phillies extend him between now and the end of the season,with a chunk of the money being a signing bonus,would the bonus money go towards this year’s salary,or would it start to count next year when the contract begins?
I assume it would start next year,when the extension kicks in.But they would actually pay that money this year,so I’m a little thrown off there.If it kicks in next year,could be a good way to keep the actually future payouts down,while giving Jt extra cash now.
With the current state of the Phillies, there is no way Realmuto doesn’t test free agency.
Ya mean how they’ve added significant pieces in each of the last 3 offseason,how they have a 200m payroll and will have flexibility moving forward,and how they’ve added a respected manager?
You say that like they’re the Pirates pocketing revenue sharing checks.
I wish I could agree with this because I’m a Braves fan but the Phillies are under achieving. They will eventually find their way and when they do, the NL East will be all the battle ground everyone expects it to be. It may be that Gerardi gets much more out of this team then Klentak did.
I think you mean Kapler, not Klentak.
Oh Packsy, you scoundrel!
With arb over they can actually start working on an extension that counts towards next years luxury tax figure.
If they work out a contract to his liking, and it begins next season, that and any signing bonus goes towards next years numbers.
Big contracts coming off the books after this year and the hit will be minor and leave room for additional signings.
Why not extend him already? Phillies must be broke
Phillies are not broke. They had been waiting for the hearing to be over. They want to extend but not include this season. They want it to start next season. That way they have room to make any necessary moves.
Because it takes two to tango