I don’t really think Alex Anthopoulos lets a lot of stuff like this out, so while I’m skeptical and surprised, this is a signing I wouldn’t be mad about whatsoever:
Braves circling on free-agent catcher J.T. Realmuto, according to league sources. Other teams on the west coast are expressing interest.
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) January 21, 2021
If Atlanta does complete a deal with JT Realmuto, they would certainly be out of the Marcell Ozuna sweepstakes. It would be so sweet to steal Realmuto from the Phillies after they gave up top prospects like Sixto Sanchez to acquire him. If you recall, when Realmuto was originally being traded from Miami, the Marlins were asking for Mike Soroka, Austin Riley, and others in a deal. Now, it looks like Atlanta has a chance to poach him without giving up any prospects.
JT Realmuto is easily the best catcher in baseball, and pairing him with Travis d’Arnaud would undoubtedly give Atlanta the best catching tandem in the majors. Not only did Realmuto crush for an .840 OPS in 2020, but he also continued to be one of the best defensive catchers in the game. His CS% dipped in 2020, but his astounding 47% rate of throwing out baserunners in 2019 is something to marvel at. Realmuto can also help develop this young staff and improve what is already a stellar infield defense. It’s rumored Philly offered him at least $110 million, so he will not be cheap.
Even if Marcell Ozuna is looking towards greener pastures, Alex Anthopoulos may find another upgrade. Trust the man; he knows what he’s doing.