Jan. 1: NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury takes a fresh look at Realmuto’s market, running through several speculative matches for him in free agency. While the Phils have yet to make an offer, Salisbury writes that given Realmuto’s “fondness” for Philadelphia, it’s likely he’d circle back and give them a chance to match or top any offers received elsewhere.
Dec. 29: The market for J.T. Realmuto has moved at a glacial pace. The lone major development came in the form of a four-year deal between Realmuto’s top alternative, James McCann, and one of his top suitors, the Mets. Beyond the Mets, Realmuto has been linked to the Blue Jays, Nationals and Angels — to varying extents.
The incumbent Phillies, of course, remain a fit. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman tweeted last night that Realmuto remains “the priority” for the Phils under new president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski and GM Sam Fuld. However, NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark reports this morning that while the Phillies have had plenty of conversations with Realmuto’s camp, a formal offer has never been put forth. That differs from reporting by Heyman and others who’ve suggested that the Phillies have a standing offer on the table.
It’s certainly possible there are some semantics at play. The Phils can make their comfort level known and indicate their breaking point without presenting an actual offer. Similarly, Realmuto’s agents at CAA can set general expectations without giving a firm number they need the Phillies (or another club) to meet. That said, it still registers as something of a surprise that, after nearly a year of conversations dating back to Spring Training, the Phils have apparently yet to give Realmuto the opportunity to put pen to paper.
While the trade market for star-caliber pitchers has been ramping up and we’re simultaneously seeing high-profile international players reach the end of their posting windows, the market for top-level MLB free agents seems no closer to a crescendo than it was this time last month. Some form of resolution in the Yankees’ pursuit of DJ LeMahieu or the Mets’ pursuit of George Springer could have a cascade effect that lends clarity to Realmuto’s market, but there’s no indication that such a sequence will happen anytime soon.