The most intriguing Atlanta Braves rumor of the last couple of years suddenly has fans rightly sitting up to take notice.
It was just about two years ago now that the Miami Marlins finally pulled the trigger on a blockbuster trade deal, sending all-world catcher J.T. Realmuto to Philadelphia for a prospect package led by pitcher Sixto Sanchez.
At the time, many were suggesting that this would be a great deal for the Phillies… if they could extend Realmuto for the long term.
As things progressed over these last 24 months, the Phils have been reticent to acquiesce to Realmuto’s demands to set Average Annual Value records for the catching position. Suddenly, it seems, there are now more teams that may be willing to engage the All-Star catcher at that level, which could leave the Phils completely out in the cold.
Robert Murray on Twitter: “Braves circling on free-agent catcher J.T. Realmuto, according to league sources. Other teams on the west coast are expressing interest.” / Twitter
Full disclosure: Murray is now a national columnist working for FanSided, parent of TomahawkTake.com. That said, he’s also not one to throw around rumors willy-nilly.
On the surface, this is an “oh really?” rumor. After all, there’s multiple reasons why one could dismiss this out-of-hand:
- Realmuto is going to be very expensive
- Realmuto is going to require a 5- or 6-year contract to sign
- The Braves really need a left fielder
- Maybe this is just an agent trying to find somebody — anybody — to engage on his client other than the Phillies. After all, once the Mets signed James McCann, the ‘buzz’ probably dried up quickly.
- Oh, and there’s the fact that Travis d’Arnaud is already on the roster and affordably inked for 2021
Most of that is true… but let’s explore how this might work anyway, for it’s actually a bit fascinating.