The Phillies are about to embark on an important offseason, pressed with the decision of whether or not to re-sign All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto. Free agency is still a few weeks away but that hasn’t stopped Bryce Harper from making his position on the issue well known.
“J.T. Realmuto needs to be our catcher next year — plain and simple,” Harper said after the Phillies’ final game of the season, as quoted by the New York Post. “Anybody that’s the best at their position — hitting and fielding — needs to be signed and that is J.T. Realmuto. I don’t think that should even be a question. There’s going to be two teams or three teams in the NL East who are going to go after that guy and if that happens, I mean, that’s going to be tough to swallow for us.”
Harper continued to stump for the Phillies to bring his teammate back Tuesday by posting a picture of himself on Instagram wearing a Realmuto jersey.
Bryce Harper posted this on IG, says he will be repping his— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) October 6, 2020
JT Realmuto jersey all winter
“It’s a must. It’s expected. In all aspects. The fans and the city of Philadelphia deserve better plain and simple. You guys deserve Broad Street again” pic.twitter.com/250so4Fs9K
The Phillies’ $330 million man has campaigned for the Phillies to lock up Realmuto all season. He wore a Realmuto T-shirt during batting practices and once shouted across an empty Citizens Bank Park for the team to re-sign while reporters were standing by with cameras rolling.
Bryce Harper makes summer camp appearance wearing a J.T. Realmuto t-shirt. This as close as my socially distant iPhone would allow me to get. pic.twitter.com/oS7oFxfKhc— Bob Brookover (@brookob) July 3, 2020
Realmuto oppo field two run HR vs Irvin. Harper on first. HArper yelled sign him as he got to dugout. pic.twitter.com/DIvIml8zGh— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyNBCS) July 8, 2020
Realmuto has the highest fWAR total (16.7) among all catchers over the last four seasons. He’s set to be one of the premiere position players available this winter atop a relatively weak free agent class. The Phillies have a lot to do this offseason — especially after demoting GM Matt Klentak — but Harper isn’t relenting on pushing the organization to spend big on the best catcher in baseball.