The Mets missed out on J.T. Realmuto in 2019, but they could potentially reel him in ahead of the 2021 season thanks to Brodie Van Wagenen.
The New York Mets looked like they were all in on All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto in the winter of 2019. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out and Reamulto then signed with the Philadelphia Phillies. With that, the Amazins turned to Wilson Ramos as their new backstop. Ramos is a solid player considering the lack of good catchers in the big leagues, but he’s not J.T. Realmuto.
Realmuto is arguably the best catcher in the National League and he was a favorite to start the All-Star Game this year. With the season still postponed, not only is the All-Star Game itself in doubt but so is the possibility of Realmuto staying with the team he ended up signing with.
There’s been so much back-and-forth between the players and league owners when it comes to how much money the players will make in this potentially shortened season. So far, the uncertainty has hurt the Phillies chances of keeping Realmuto.
It’s concerning that he hasn’t gotten a contract extension yet, and this potentially shortened season casts more and more doubt that the Phillies don’t and will not know what to pay him going forward.
The good news is, this works in the Mets favor as they not only had an interest in the two-time All-Star before but Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen has connections to Realmuto as he was the 2019 Gold Glove catcher’s former agent at Creative Artists Agency (CAA).
So far, Van Wagenen has brought in a few players he’s had connections with at the agency. Robinson Cano, Jed Lowrie, and Michael Wacha are three examples that Van Wagenen has brought to the Mets, and Realmuto could be the next.
Realmuto is set to earn just $10M this year if the players end up playing for their full salaries. As a player that many thought could sign the richest deal for a catcher in MLB History, $10M isn’t that much.
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However, the Mets could still make this happen, and if the Phillies make that kind of deal, they would undoubtedly enter luxury tax territory, this would not be the case for the Mets.
If the Mets can use this connection to provide leverage in negotiations with the two-time silver slugger catcher, they should. It not only would substantially improve their team, but it would also take perhaps the best catcher in the NL away from an NL East division rival.
If the Mets can keep their team together and add Realmuto, they would then be serious competitors for the division crown in 2021, as well as maybe lock them up as clear-cut Wild Card favorites.
Not only that, but the Subway Series games against the Yankees would then become that much more interesting. The best catcher in the AL vs. potentially the best catcher in the NL going head-to-head would be a dream matchup.
Ultimately, J.T. Realmuto is a name I’d keep my eye on as he could very well be playing in Queens in 2021 and beyond.