Yankees rumors/news: JT Realmuto still a possibility for Bombers as they re-evaluate catcher

Alexander Wilson
New York Yankees, JT Realmuto
Aug 25, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto (10) hits a three run home run against the Washington Nationals in the third inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

If the New York Yankees weren’t rumored as trade partners and free-agent suitors for the best players in baseball, the world might be completely upside down.

However, the New York Mets are about to push the bounds of New York sports, exercising a lofty financial commitment, as new owner Steve Cohen is ready to make the franchise “great.”

With Cohen preparing to dump boatloads of cash into the Mets’ elevation, the Yankees have a new challenger in town. Nonetheless, they are still in the running to acquire the likes of star shortstop Francisco Lindor and potentially catcher JT Realmuto.

Former Cincinnati Reds’ GM Jim Bowden believes that catcher JT Realmuto is a great fit with the Yankees, as stated in his article for The Athletic (subscription required).

Realmuto, who would replace Gary Sanchez at catcher for the Yankees if signed, is one of the best players at the position in baseball. He finished the 2020 campaign with a .266 average, hitting 11 homers and 32 RBIs.

Realmuto’s primary issue is that he hosts a 24.6% strikeout rate and walks just 8.2% of the time. What he lacks offensively, he makes up in defense tenfold. Having committed just two errors and one passed ball this season, he is stout behind the plate and would be a massive upgrade over Sanchez.

Comparably, Sanchez finished the most recent season with a .147 average and a 36% strikeout rate. His offense doesn’t even closely resemble JT’s, representing a massive upgrade, but one that would likely be record-breaking in terms of financial commitment.

Defensively, Sanchez logged five passed balls and five errors this season, displaying a serious lack of consistency behind the plate.

While ownership seems to be committed to Sanchez for the time being, they were reportedly fielding offers for him at the trade deadline in August. That fact alone tells us that the Yankees might be more willing to part ways with him than previously thought.

While I don’t think they will acquire Realmuto and make a blockbuster trade, including Sanchez, it is a deal worth monitoring as the off-season progresses. Things are going to be interesting for the Yankees, and I can see them making a huge splash but also sitting still and plugging holes without spending too much capital.