There are no superstars that will dominate the MLB Hot Stove this offseason, but when a catcher of J.T. Realmuto‘s value hits the open market, it will still be just as fun. The shortened 2020 season proved well for the veteran catcher, hitting .266 along with 11 home runs and 32 runs batted in.
Realmuto will be 30 at the start of the 2021 season, but that does not make him any less valued. The two-time All-Star will be hitting free agency with at least five teams in desperate need of a catcher and willing to pay up for one of the game’s best.
Likely Landing Spots
New York Mets
The Mets’ current catcher, Wilson Ramos, has a $10 million dollar team option on his deal and it is expected the Mets will decline. Robinson Chirinos also has a team option on his $6.5 million dollar deal. So if the Mets and new owner Steve Cohen want to make a splash, they very well could, clearing up money at the catcher position, and then signing one of the best catchers in the league.
New York Yankees
There could very well be a crosstown rivalry in the signing of J.T. Realmuto as the Yankees are looking to upgrade their catcher. Add in the trade rumors that were circulating around Gary Sanchez around the deadline, and the Bronx Bombers might be looking to add Realmuto in and kick Sanchez out.
St. Louis Cardinals
Let me ask every baseball fan this question. Would you want to give 38-year old Yadier Molina another deal? Molina’s three year – $60 million dollar deal is done as this offseason hits, and the Cardinals have a chance to get younger at the catcher position. St. Louis fans have rarely seen a state of flux behind the dish, so adding in Realmuto would keep consistency at that position.
Los Angeles Angels
The Angels still continue to struggle around one of the best baseball players of all time and it is most in part due to their staff. Obviously, Trevor Bauer should be on LA’s radar, but Realmuto may be cheaper than the ace of the market. The Angels may sign Realmuto to bolster the line-up even more and hope his defense and game-calling will improve the pitching staff.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays are a bit of a wild card choice here. Tampa Bay has never been the team to spend big on free agency, but Realmuto could make their team and staff even better. Mike Zunino has been a formidable option behind the dish, but an upgrade could be in store for Tampa. Zunino has a club option for 2021, and if Realmuto wants to jump in on a World Series contender right away, Tampa Bay has to be considered.
I believe Realmuto will end on the Mets. The Mets have just brought in a new owner that will be willing to spend, so it just seems to perfect. Realmuto will stay in the NL East, and continue to hit well at Citi Field. Be ready for a big market for the game’s best catcher, but I think it is coming down to the two teams in the big apple.
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