Two games into the season, here's the update on J.T. Realmuto's contract talks with the Phillies: There is no update.
“Nothing’s happened thus far,” the 29-year-old all-star catcher said Saturday after hitting a three-run home run in the Phillies’ 7-1 victory over the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. “To be honest, I’m focused on the season at this point.”
Realmuto did, however, take notice of the 12-year, $365 million contract extension that Mookie Betts signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers on the eve of opening day.
While many industry observers have speculated that players in the 2020-21 free-agent class will have difficulty getting big contracts after a pandemic-shortened, fan-free season, Betts’ deal would seem to indicate otherwise.
“It was definitely positive to see for baseball knowing that teams still do have that money,” Realmuto said.
“Like I mentioned a few weeks ago, I still think that the teams at the top of the market are going to be willing to spend money. Some teams are going to take advantage of the situation where half or maybe three-quarters of the league might not be interested in spending as much money. Other teams are going to really go for it and push for those players. It was good to see [Betts] get what he deserves.”
Realmuto and his agent, Jeff Berry, are believed to be seeking to eclipse Joe Mauer’s $23 million average annual salary, a record for catchers. Word is, though, that they might have their sights set on the five-year, $130 million contract extension signed last year by St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.