With less than a month before Spring Training, the JT Realmuto sweepstakes are reportedly coming to a close. According to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, the Phillies remain the frontrunner for the best catcher in the game today with an offer on the table of around $110 million. The Braves are still in the mix; however, they don’t appear to be willing to go as far as Philadelphia.
JT Realmuto situation feels like it’s coming to a head. Phillies — believed at about $110M — are trying to close the deal. Braves and Realmuto said to have mutual interest, as @ByRobertMurray reported. But Atlanta is thought to prefer shorter deal and has d’Arnaud thru ‘21.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 26, 2021
This has become like clockwork for the Braves under general manager Alex Anthopoulos. They are constantly connected to the league’s best free-agents every offseason, yet they are never willing to go the extra mile that it takes to get a deal done. Most recently, Atlanta was reportedly in on George Springer until the very end, who eventually inked a $150 million contract with the Blue Jays.
At least, in this case, I can understand why Anthopoulos might be hesitant to top the Phillies offer. The Braves have Travis d’Arnaud signed through 2021, leaving them with a much more glaring need in the outfield. Still, there have been no signs — outside of rumors after the fact — that Atlanta is genuinely serious about dishing out a long-term contract to an elite free agent. And the closer we get to spring training, the more it seems like the Braves will miss out once again this offseason.