J.T. Realmuto Rumors: Braves 'Circling' on Star FA Amid Phillies Contract Buzz

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJanuary 21, 2021

Philadelphia Phillies' J.T. Realmuto bats during a spring training baseball game, Monday, March 9, 2020, in Clearwater, Fla. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

The Philadelphia Phillies may have competition from a familiar foe in the J.T. Realmuto free-agent sweepstakes.

Per Robert Murray of FanSided, the Atlanta Braves are "circling" the two-time All-Star catcher.

As Realmuto's camp continues to negotiate with teams, MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported Wednesday that Philadelphia's most recent offer was around $110 million.

Last week, Jayson Stark of The Athletic noted the Phillies were talking with Realmuto about a five-year deal worth just over $100 million.

Multiple Phillies players, including Bryce Harper and Archie Bradley, have publicly stated their desire to have the team re-sign Realmuto.

"J.T. Realmuto needs to be our catcher next year—plain and simple," Harper told reporters after the Phillies' regular-season finale in September 2020.

The Braves don't necessarily need a new starting catcher. Travis d'Arnaud is coming off a career year in 2020 with a .321/.386/.533 slash line, nine homers and 34 RBI in 44 games.

However, Atlanta could dramatically improve its chances of staying atop the National League East, while significantly hurting the Phillies' playoff hopes, if it can sign Realmuto.

The 29-year-old made back-to-back All-Star teams and won two straight Silver Slugger awards in 2018 and 2019. He has hit .282/.336/.466 with 8