Great catch: Phillies get J.T. Realmuto in trade with Marlins

Heather Diaz
February 8, 2019

His agent, Jeff Berry, predicted a trade after Realmuto informed the Marlins last fall he wouldn't sign a long-term contract with them.

The Phillies will be reportedly sending to the Marlins catcher Jorge Alfaro, top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez, minor leaguer Will Stewart and global slot money.

Realmuto became a National League all-star for the first time last season.

"He's been playing half his game in Miami", Klentak said. He set career highs last season in home runs (21), RBI (74) and slugging (.484) en route to his first MLB All-Star nomination and Silver Slugger Award.

"We've heard nothing but outstanding things about J.T. Realmuto and his worth ethic and his makeup and his leadership, the type of teammate he is", Klentak said.

Thursday's deal netted the Marlins a catcher - Alfaro - to replace Realmuto and a prized pitching prospect in Sanchez who has been compared on occasion to Pedro Martinez.

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Realmuto, 27, just finished his fourth full Major League season and still has two more years of team control before being eligible for free agency.

If they both struggle as they did in 2018, then the team can always make an in-season trade, or perhaps one of their top catching prospects, Keibert Ruiz or Will Smith, will be Major League ready sooner than expected.

Philadelphia, still pursuing free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, has bolstered its lineup with the additions of Realmuto, shortstop Jean Segura and 2013 NL MVP Andrew McCutchen.

Miami's rebuilding project will probably continue for several years under CEO Derek Jeter, whose group bought the team after the 2017 season. The right-hander authored a 2.51 ERA and 2.66 FIP over eight starts with High-A Clearwater past year. "Electric stuff - a pitcher we think can develop and lead a championship rotation".

"It's hard to acquire top players at any position, especially at the catcher position, and we knew if were going [add] J.T., we were going to have to give up some talent in return", Klentak said.

Realmuto was in his second season of arbitration eligibility this winter.

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