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February 07, 2019

Phillies acquire Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto for Sixto Sanchez, Jorge Alfaro and others

UPDATE [3:25 p.m.] — The Phillies have made it official, announcing that they've acquired J.T. Realmuto from the Marlins. They gave up catcher Jorge Alfaro, right-handed starter and top prospect Sixto Sánchez, left-handed pitching prospect Will Stewart, and international bonus pool money.

Here's a bit more on Realmuto from the team's press release:

Realmuto, 27, was selected to his first National League All-Star team last season and won the Silver Slugger Award.  He played in 125 games (111 starts) with the Marlins and batted .277 with 30 doubles, 21 home runs, 74 RBI and an .825 OPS.  He led all major league catchers in total bases (206) and his 49 extra-base hits were tied for the most (Yasmani Grandal).  Defensively, Realmuto threw out 14 runners attempting to steal in 48 opportunities. 

Per FanGraphs valuation of WAR, Realmuto led all major league catchers with 4.8 fWAR last season (next: Grandal, 3.6), which was the highest by a catcher since Buster Posey posted a 5.5 fWAR in 2015.  Further, having played last season at age 27, Realmuto’s 4.8 fWAR was the seventh-highest of any catcher, age 27 or younger, over the last 10 seasons, trailing only Joe Mauer (7.6 in 2009 and 5.0 in 2010), Buster Posey (7.6 in 2012, 5.5 in 2014 and 4.9 in 2013) and Brian McCann (4.9 in 2010).

Originally selected by Miami in the third round of the June 2010 draft, Realmuto is a career .279 hitter with 114 doubles, 59 home runs, 243 RBI and a .768 OPS.  His 92 doubles since 2016 are more than any other catcher in baseball and his .286 average is the second-highest among all catchers in that span.  With at least 35 extra-base hits in each of his first four full seasons in the majors (2015-18), Realmuto joined Johnny Bench and Mike Piazza as the only catchers to do so in major league history.  He is under team control through the 2020 season.

UPDATE [2:30 p.m.] — There it is. The Phillies appear to have acquired Marlins All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto in exchange for top prospect Sixto Sanchez, catcher Jorge Alfaro and a pair of other prospects, according to Jim Bowden.

According Jeff Passan, however, it may only be three players and some international signing money.

For what it's worth, both Jim Salisbury and Todd Zolecki are reporting the same as Passan. Also...

More to come... 

UPDATE [12:57 p.m.] — According to Matt Breen of the Inquirer, the Phillies' trade for J.T. Realmuto is expected to be completed by the end of the day. He also gave a little insight as to why the Phillies would be willing to part with their top prospect in Sixto Sanchez.


It may be NBA Trade Deadline Day, but the Phillies could be trying to steal the spotlight from their South Philly neighbors, the Sixers. According to multiple reports, the Phillies are nearing a deal with the Marlins to acquire All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto. 

Here's more from Joe Fisaro of

The trade may depend on whether pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez is part of the deal. A source told on Wednesday that Sanchez is viewed as a "must" to be included in a trade package for Realmuto.

Earlier this week, the Phillies re-engaged with Miami regarding Realmuto. Miami, per sources, also is in talks with the Reds, Padres, Dodgers, Braves and Rays. ... 

The Phillies have expressed interest in Realmuto as far back as last July.

Earlier in the offseason, the Phillies also were engaged. But with Spring Training set to begin next week, they resurfaced as a viable option for Realmuto, who statistically had one of the best seasons of any catcher in the Majors last year.

An All-Star for the first time in 2018, Realmuto batted .277 and recorded career highs for home runs (21) and RBIs (74).  []

In the time since that report, several other writers have also reported that a deal could be close to being finalized, and it would likely include Sanchez, as well as catcher Jorge Alfaro. 

Sanchez, the Phillies top ranked prospect and the 27th overall according to, finished an injury-shortened season with Clearwater (High A) with a 4-3 record and a 2.51 ERA in 46 2/3 innings. Realmuto, meanwhile, made his first All-Star appearance while posting a .277 average to go with a career-high 21 home runs and 74 RBI.

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