The Phillies are moving swiftly toward a deal that would net them All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto, according to multiple sources. The deal could be done today.
The Phillies will send catcher Jorge Alfaro, pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez and at least one other prospect to the Miami Marlins to complete the deal.
Only a late snag would kill the deal, but there is optimism on both sides that it will get done.
Adding Realmuto, a top offensive and defensive catcher would improve the Phillies' winter dramatically. They have already added shortstop Jean Segura, outfielder Andrew McCutchen and reliever David Robertson. And, of course, the team is still very much in the hunt for Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, the two mega stars on the free-agent market. First baseman Rhys Hoskins recently said he believed the Phillies would land either Machado or Harper. Doing that would take the Phillies' impressive winter to a higher level and could make them the favorite in the NL East.
The Phillies were linked to Realmuto during the winter meetings two months ago. At the time, a member of the Marlins organization said the Phillies didn't have the prospects to pull off a deal. But after months of trying to move Realmuto, the Marlins found what they liked with the Phillies.
Alfaro, 25, was the Phillies' regular catcher last year. The addition of Realmuto makes him expendable. Sanchez, 20, is a big key to the deal. The Phillies' top pitching prospect features a big fastball and exceptional control. However, he missed significant time with an elbow injury last season. The third player going the Marlins' way is expected to be a minor-league prospect.
Realmuto turns 28 in March and won't be a free agent until after the 2020 season. He hit .277 with 30 doubles, 21 homers, 74 RBIs and a .825 OPS for the Marlins last season. He is considered an excellent handler of pitchers.
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Realmuto has seen young stars and former teammates such Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna get shipped out by the rebuilding Marlins and he is eager to be the next guy to go. His wish is close to happening.
The Dodgers, Reds, Padres, Mets and Braves were all considered top suitors for Realmuto earlier this winter.
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