The Toronto Blue Jays have reportedly shown some degree of interest in catcher free agent J.T. Realmuto despite their internal depth at the position.
The Blue Jays appear to have an interest in every single relevant free agent on the open market this offseason, however, Toronto raised some eyebrows when it was learned the team had a keen interest in backstop J.T. Realmuto.
There is no denying that Realmuto is one of the premier talents in the game and would undoubtedly make the Blue Jays instantly better. However, the team has the likes of Danny Jansen, Reese McGuire, Alejandro Kirk, and Gabriel Moreno tabbed to hold down the position for years to come.
MLB Trade Rumors has ranked Realmuto the second-best available free agent behind only pitcher Trevor Bauer. The predictions have the backstop signing a five year/ $125 million dollar pact with the New York Mets this offseason.
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Jansen has disappointed offensively the past couple of seasons and maybe the reason why the brain trust is looking elsewhere. Jansen his below the Mendoza Line in 2020 while McGuire was ushered off the MLB roster for Kirk. McGuire also had off-field legal issues after his brush with the law during spring training in Florida last season.
Kirk is a feel-good story and appears to have a decent stick but there is no telling if his body type could even handle the rigors of a 162-game MLB season.
So insert Realmuto rumours here……the 29-year old is an above-average defender while usually hitting in the .275 neighborhood with 20+ homers a season. He will likely slow down near the end of his contract much like Russell Martin did but he would solidify the position for the next 3-4 years.
In 2019, Realmuto hit .275/.328/.493 with 148 hits, 25 homers, 83 runs batted in, and a 4.5 WAR in 145 games. He has been a two-time All-Star while also winning a pair of Silver Slugger awards and a Gold Glove in 2019.
Would I prefer an elite outfielder over Realmuto, yes, but only because the Blue Jays are desperately thin at the outfield position all throughout the organization. The team would also be able to move some catching depth in a trade if they were able to land Realmuto.
The backstop is an elite talent who would be a great addition to the lineup on both sides of the diamond. I am smiling regardless if they sign Realmuto or George Springer.