With the winter fast approaching and time running out for an in-season extension, Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto will “likely” try his hand on the open market, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia observes. However, general manager Matt Klentak suggested Monday that the Phillies and Realmuto have at least discussed a new contract since the season began. “That’s not true,” Klentak said of a report that the two sides hadn’t talked, though Salisbury notes that the executive was loath to give more detailed updates. Regardless of where he signs, it’ll be fascinating to see how much Realmuto rakes in as a soon-to-be 30-year-old backstop whose trip to free agency will come off a pandemic-shortened season. Realmuto has continued to make an emphatic case for a mega-deal, though, as the two-time All-Star has once again been the game’s premier catcher in 2020.
Here’s more from baseball’s East divisions…
- The Blue Jays have been without shortstop Bo Bichette for two weeks because of a knee sprain, though manager Charlie Montoyo said Tuesday that “he’s progressing pretty good,” according to Scott Mitchell of TSN. Bichette, if he returns, could be a huge down-the-stretch pickup for a Blue Jays club that has legitimate playoff aspirations. He began the year with a superb .361/.391/.672 line and five home runs in 64 plate appearances before going to the IL. Shortstop has become a weakness for Toronto since Bichette went down, but the team did acquire veteran Band-Aid Jonathan Villar from Miami prior to Monday’s trade deadline.
- Speaking of those two teams, Marlins right-hander Elieser Hernandez exited his start against Toronto on Tuesday with a sore lat muscle, the Fish announced. He’s listed as day to day, but manager Don Mattingly revealed Hernandez will undergo an MRI, Craig Mish of Sports Grid relays. Any kind of absence for Hernandez over the season’s last month would be an unwelcome development for the surprising Marlins, who are in playoff contention thanks in part to his contributions. With a 2.81 ERA and 11.92 K/9 against 1.75 BB/9, the 25-year-old Hernandez has given Miami front-line production across 25 2/3 innings.
- Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke admitted Tuesday that injured left fielder Andrew Benintendi might not return this season, per Alex Speier of the Boston Globe. Benintendi headed to the IL on Aug. 12 with a right rib cage strain, which continued a miserable start to the 2020 campaign for the 26-year-old. If he is done for the year, he’ll end it with a .103/.314/.128 line and no homers in 52 trips to the plate.