We discuss whether or not the San Diego Padres should pursue catcher J.T. Realmuto in free agency this upcoming offseason.
The San Diego Padres have been looking for that stable catcher to put behind the plate for a while now and one of the best in the game could be coming available next offseason.
Whether or not there is a season in 2020, service time remains the same for players, which means J.T. Realmuto will still be hitting free agency this winter unless the Philadelphia Phillies are able to extend him before then.
Realmuto is one of the best — if not the best — all-around catchers in baseball as he’s a great defensive and offensive catcher.
Right now the Padres have one great defensive catcher and one offensive catcher who we think will hit well. With Realmuto you get all of that in one player.
Realmuto will turn 30 before the start of the 2021 season, so we’re probably talking about a five-year deal for around $18 million a year if I had to guess.
He’s hit .275 or better in four straight seasons and he’s hit 20-plus home runs in each of the past two seasons. And he’s put up 4 WAR or better in three straight seasons leading all catchers with 5.7 WAR in 2019.
There is not question that he’s one of the best catchers in the game, but the question is whether or not the Padres should pursue him in free agency.
I tend to believe that all great teams are solid up the middle with a great catcher, shortstop, second baseman, and center fielder.
Right now the Padres have on of those with Fernando Tatis Jr. at shortstop.
Catcher, second, and center might actually be the three weakest spots on the Padres roster.
However, they do have Luis Campusano and Taylor Trammell on the way who could fill the voids at catcher and center respectively, but they are still unknowns and there are already questions about whether or not Trammell can handle center at the big league level.
CJ Abrams is a little further behind but could potentially be the answer at second base or center.
But again, all of those players are unknowns.
What we do know is Realmuto is one of the top catchers in the game and will likely be available for money.
According to Spotrac, they already have $89.5 million on the books for 2021 for just six players. That doesn’t arbitration and pre-arbitration players, so that number is likely closer to $120 million.
And with the lack of revenue coming in this season, which will be a problem for all teams, the Padres may not be able to push the payroll as much as they’d like in the coming offseason.
Still, if it were up to me and we’re playing with Monopoly money, Realmuto would be at the top of my list this coming offseason along with Mookie Betts.
Let us know in the comments below if you think the Padres should go after Realmuto this coming offseason or not.