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Phillies Continue Busy Off-Season, Trade For J.T. Realmuto

Per an official press release from the team, the Philadelphia Phillies have acquired all-star catcher J.T. Realmuto via trade with the Miami Marlins.

The announcement was made official Thursday afternoon, making Realmuto yet another all-star traded away by Miami under CEO Derek Jeter‘s ownership group. Last off-season, the Marlins traded away Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna, and Dee Gordon, and all of the players acquired by the Marlins in those trades have provided mixed results so far to this point.

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However, it makes plenty of sense for the Marlins to continue their rebuild and bring more young talent into their organization, as those four players plus Jose Fernandez didn’t lead too much success for the fish. That’s exactly what they did in this trade, by acquiring pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez, who is ranked 27th by MLB Pipeline in the trade.

Sanchez has been on the radar of many for awhile now because of his hard-throwing ability. The 20-year-old Sanchez posted a 2.51 earned run average in 46.2 innings at Advanced-A Ball last season, while striking out 45 batters. For someone who relies heavily on velocity, Sanchez has very good command of the strike zone. In a full minor league season in 2017, he walked just 18 batters in 95 innings of work. He will likely begin the 2019 campaign at Double-A for Miami.

Also in the trade, Miami netted catcher Jorge Alfaro and another pitching prospect in left-hander Will Stewart. International signing bonus money was also attained in the trade, as the Marlins are looking to add more prospects through the international market after signing Victor Victor Mesa  and Victor Mesa Jr. earlier this off-season.

Alfaro, who batted .262/.324/.407 with 10 home runs and 37 runs batted in last season, is slated to replace Realmuto as Miami’s starting catcher, effective immediately. Back in October, Realmuto’s agent, Jeff Berry, predicted that a trade away from Miami would happen after Realmuto informed the Marlins that he wouldn’t ink a long-term contract extension with the club. Instead, Realmuto joins Andrew McCutchen and Jean Segura as the other significant new additions to the Phillies this off-season, and with Philadelphia still in the market for free agent superstars Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, it’s very possible the Phillies aren’t done adding yet.

As a first time all-star in 2018, Realmuto batted .277/.340/.484 with 21 home runs and 74 runs batted in. His marks in home runs, runs batted in, and slugging percentage were all career-highs, as was his .825 OPS.

Realmuto will earn $5.9 million this season, and will head to arabirtation following this season if he and the Phillies don’t hash out a long-term contract. The soon-to-be 28-year-old backstop is currently scheduled to be a free agent following the 2020 season.

Photo: Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports
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