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Points by Ben Simmons during Game 3 victory over Nets

Quite a catch

Posted by Eric Fisher On February 7

The Phillies made a major upgrade at catcher Thursday, acquiring J.T. Realmuto from the Marlins.

Phillies general manager Matt Klentak referred to Realmuto as “the best catcher in baseball.” That’s why the Phillies were willing to give up Sixto Sanchez, their top pitching prospect as part of the package sent to the Marlins. The Phillies also included catcher Jorge Alfaro, minor-league left-hander Willie Stewart and international bonus-pool money  as part of the deal.

Realmuto, who will turn 28 years old in March, batted .277 last season and established career highs in home runs (21) and RBI (74). Realmuto struck out 104 times, but that’s 34 fewer strikeouts last season than Alfaro, who played 17 fewer games. Realmuto should also be a defensive upgrade over Alfaro. He is only several years older than Alfaro.

Realmuto, who batted .303 for the Marlins in 2016, is the latest upgrade to a Phillies lineup that struggled last season. Shortstop Jean Segura and outfielder Andrew McCutchen, both acquired during the offseason, should both be upgrades at the plate.

The Phillies could still make a major upgrade by signing either outfielder Bryce Harper or infielder Manny Machado. However, with the addition of Realmuto, they may already have become a pennant contender.

 

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