The Phillies are about to embark on an important offseason, pressed with the decision of whether or not to re-sign All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto. Free agency is still a few weeks away but that hasn’t stopped Bryce Harper from making his position on the issue well known.
“J.T. Realmuto needs to be our catcher next year — plain and simple,” Harper said after the Phillies’ final game of the season, as quoted by the New York Post. “Anybody that’s the best at their position — hitting and fielding — needs to be signed and that is J.T. Realmuto. I don’t think that should even be a question. There’s going to be two teams or three teams in the NL East who are going to go after that guy and if that happens, I mean, that’s going to be tough to swallow for us.”
Harper continued to stump for the Phillies to bring his teammate back Tuesday by posting a picture of himself on Instagram wearing a Realmuto jersey.
The Phillies’ $330 million man has campaigned for the Phillies to lock up Realmuto all season. He wore a Realmuto T-shirt during batting practices and once shouted across an empty Citizens Bank Park for the team to re-sign while reporters were standing by with cameras rolling.
Realmuto has the highest fWAR total (16.7) among all catchers over the last four seasons. He’s set to be one of the premiere position players available this winter atop a relatively weak free agent class. The Phillies have a lot to do this offseason — especially after demoting GM Matt Klentak — but Harper isn’t relenting on pushing the organization to spend big on the best catcher in baseball.