By Sam Bush
If you’re looking for a WWE-type match between the Phillies and their great catcher JT Realmuto over his arbitration, you’ve got another thing coming.
Just like JT does in terms of bucks.
The Phils offered him $10 mill and he wants $12.4M.
Is he pissed?
“No, not at all,” he told MLB.com before the Philly Sports Writers’ Association banquet last night. “I mean, anybody who knows much about the arbitration process knows that it’s business. It’s not necessarily me against the Phillies right now. There’s definitely not any hard feelings there. So I feel like we’re in the same place we were two or three months ago with the contract extension.”
Realmuto is the best catcher in baseball — he won his first Gold Glove Award and second consecutive Silver Slugger Award this offseason. He finished 14th in voting for the National League Most Valuable Player Award.
“It’s the system we’re trying to fight right now,” Realmuto said. “For me, I’m trying to go out there and set a precedent for the future catchers in our game. I feel like I had a season that is worthy of being that, so I’m going to fight for it.
“That’s why we’re doing what we’re doing. It’s not because the Phillies didn’t give us a chance to come to an agreement. It’s because we feel like we’re fighting for a cause and fighting for the rest of the catchers. Historically, catchers haven’t been treated very well in the arbitration process, so we feel like this is an opportunity for us to advance that for future catchers.”
The Phillies added right-hander Zack Wheeler and shortstop Didi Gregorius this offseason, but they otherwise have been quiet.
“Obviously, those two signings were huge for us,” Realmuto said. “They’re going to help us a lot on the field. I feel like a sneaky way the Phillies have helped us this offseason is the coaches they’ve brought in. The manager they brought in. I feel like we have a lot of experience to work with now. I think it’ll help us a lot behind the scenes.”