J.T. Realmuto and the Phillies
The Phillies remain a top contender to land J.T. Realmuto, but suddenly the rival Atlanta Braves have emerged as a potential suitor. 

Reports surfaced last week that the Phillies contacted Realmuto's camp with a five-year deal valued in the neighborhood of $100 million. 

Realmuto is the best catcher on the market and coveted across baseball, but the pandemic and financial uncertainty have forced clubs to be cautious on spending this winter. The Phillies had a payroll of near $210 million last season. Now, the payroll sits at roughly $150 million. 

The club still has holes to fill beyond catcher, namely at shortstop and the outfield, but it seems plausible at this point that Realmuto could fit financially. 

Phillies president Dave Dombrowski declined to comment when asked about the report but did say the organization has some financial flexibility moving forward. 

“We do have some ability to make some moves,” Dombrowski said. 

Dombrowski added that he sees the Phillies as more than just a team in transition in 2021. 

“There’s just too many good players on the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team to be thinking about transitioning,” Dombrowski said. 

“We’re thinking about winning. That’s what we’re going to try to do. We’re going to try to do what we can. I think we have some work ahead of us this wintertime before we get to that point. Hopefully, those things can take place. 

“And, when I say that, I don’t mean that we’re mortgaging our future at this particular time. I don’t think we’re at that place by any means. But I think we’re in a position where, if we can make a couple moves, I don’t know why we can’t compete to win. Sure, we’re not going to be the favorite to win our division with some of the other clubs there. But I haven’t always been on clubs that have been favored that have ended up winning our division.” 

Losing out on Realmuto will certainly be a blow if it happens, but it will be exponentially worse if he lands with a division rival like the Braves. Compound that with the fact the Marlins will likely have Sixto Sanchez - the main piece in the deal that brought Realmuto to Philly - at the top of their rotation, and it's tough to see how the Phillies could justify not bringing him back. 

Roster Moves 
The Phillies acquired infielder C.J. Chatham from Boston in a trade earlier this week for a player to be named later. The 26-year-old could compete for a bench job this spring. Kyle Garlick and Victor Arano were both designated for assignment.
Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

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