J.T. Realmuto ‘not keen’ on New York as MLB free agency begins


MLB free agency officially opened Wednesday morning following the conclusion of the World Series, and it seems an expected marquee target for both the Mets and the Yankees might not have the Big Apple in his plans.

According to Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia, a person described as close to Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto said the two-time All-Star “would like to remain in Philadelphia and is not particularly keen on playing in New York.”

Realmuto, an Oklahoma native, is one of the biggest names of this year’s free-agent class, along with Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer and Houston Astros outfielder George Springer.

The Mets figure to be serious players in free agency with hedge-fund billionaire Steve Cohen slated to be approved as their new owner this week. The Yankees also could be involved with Realmuto if they decide to move on from catcher Gary Sanchez and/or if they are unable to re-sign prioritized infielder D.J. LeMahieu.

J.T. Realmuto MLB free agency Phillies Mets Yankees
J.T. Realmuto is one of the top MLB free agents this offseason.AP

Within five days of the conclusion of the World Series, teams must decide whether to tender one-year qualifying offers worth $18.9 million to their free-agent players to retain draft-pick compensation. NBC Sports reported that the 29-year-old Realmuto “definitely” will receive a qualifying offer from the Phillies.

Realmuto reportedly is expected to seek a contract in excess of $23 million per year, which would surpass the record average annual value deal for catchers that Joe Mauer earned with Minnesota from 2011-18.


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