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The Phillies announced Tuesday afternoon that they came to terms with free agent pitcher Ivan Nova….Oh, and they also inked catcher JT Realmuto to a record setting contract for catchers. The 5 year, $115.5 million dollar deal just BARELY eclipses Joe Mauer deal that he signed with the Twins way back in 2010. Mauer’s AAV was $23 millon dollars a year. Realmuto’s is $23.1. The deal was first reported by Craig Mish

The high’s and low’s of projecting the future of JT Realmuto mirrored something you’s see on General Hospital. Most had pegged the Phillies would resign Realmuto for two reasons

  1. He was widely regarded as the best catcher in baseball
  2. The team gave up Sixto Sanchez to acquire him

But as the pandemic hit, and no deal was in place, negativity started to surround a potential reunion. Especially as the Mets were bought by Billionaire Steve Cohen. But the Mets choose James McCann, and the market for teams willing to spend big money at the catcher position dried up.

A few things went in the Phillies favor. The first was that star Bryce Harper was very vocal about wanting Realmuto back. He took less money to come to Philly so the team could sign guys like Realmuto. The second was the fact that Realmuto WANTED to be back. He was legitimately moved that fans, during a pandemic, were coming to support the team and shout that they wanted him back. It was even more impressive because “The Phandemic Krew” even stayed AFTER the Phillies would go to their bullpen! True dedication.

Man (like John Kincade) think the Phillies bid against themselves. But the reality was THIS was the best deal for the team they couldve possibly gotten. The pandemic has teams scared of handing over big money, having no idea what the financial climate of the sport will look like during the season. Teams werent willing to take the risk. But Realmuto wasnt willing to take an insanely low offer. So the risk was that you continued to play hard ball, low balling him, blaming the pandemic, until finally a team ponied up the money on a 1-2 year deal and you lost the two time All-Star.

Its also worth pointing out that with universal DH likely coming, and Realmuto’s openess to playing first base, there are options for him if his knees start to wear down. Today was a good day to be a Phillies fan.

Oh, and Im not going to bore you with Ivan Nova. Hes a stud who will likely be your Cy Young award winner…. (ignore everything I said after I typed “Nova”)