J.T. Realmuto expected questions Thursday to focus on his contract status with the Phillies.
Is it possible that he could sign an extension before Opening Day on July 24? Or does it make more sense to test the free-agent market? He is only 60 games away at this point.
“If you guys don't mind,” Realmuto said on a Zoom call with reporters, “I’d appreciate if we can keep the questions away from the contract situation, just because we were in the really preliminary stages early on in Spring Training before the pandemic and we haven’t really gone anywhere since then. So if we could focus on the team here and speak a little bit less about myself that would be greatly appreciated.”
A source said Thursday that the Phillies and Realmuto’s agent have talked recently, but nothing is close. In fact, the best bet at this point is that Realmuto hits the open market and the Phillies try to sign him then. Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said late last month that “the landscape we left in March is going to be different than the one we return to now, and we just have to see how that manifests itself in our discussions. We still love the player. We’d still love to have him in red pinstripes for the long haul, but there’s a lot of uncertainty in the game right now on a variety of levels, so we just need to factor that all in.”
Realmuto said he is concerned about the economic landscape of baseball because of the COVID-19 pandemic.