Phillies officially sign J.T. Realmuto to five-year, $115.5 million deal

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PHILADELPHIA — two-time All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto and the Philadelphia Phillies finalized their five-year, $115.5 million contract.

Realmuto is scheduled to speak to reporters on Monday.

Realmuto gets $20 million next season, of which $10 million is deferred, with $5 million each payable on July 15 in 2026 and 2027, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press on Tuesday. Realmuto gets $23,875,000 in each of the final four years.

He would receive a $1 million assignment bonus each time he is traded, payable by the acquiring team.

He would get $50,000 each for every All-Star appearance, Gold Glove and Silver Slugger, $100,000 for World Series MVP and $50,000 for League Championship Series MVP. He would get $500,000 for winning an MVP, $50,000 for second and $25,000 for third.

Realmuto’s average annual salary of $23.1 million became the highest for a catcher, topping the $23 million Joe Mauer averaged in a $184 million, eight-year deal with the Minnesota Twins that covered 2011-18.

Realmuto was acquired from the Marlins in February 2019 in a trade that sent right-hander Sixto Sanchez and catcher Jorge Alfaro to Miami along with pitching prospect Will Stewart and $250,000 in international signing bonus pool allocation.

Realmuto made his second NL All-Star team with the Phillies in 2019 and earned a Gold Glove. He had career-highs in homers (25), RBIs (83) and slugging percentage (.493) that season.

Realmuto, who turns 30 in March, hit .266 with 11 homers, 32 RBIs and a career-best OPS of .840 last season. He earned $3,703,704 prorated for the pandemic-shortened season from a $10 million salary.

His deal is the second-largest of the offseason behind outfielder George Springer‘s $150 million, six-year contract with Toronto.

To make room for Realmuto on the 40-man roster, the Phillies designated right-hander Ian Hamilton for assignment. Hamilton had been claimed off waivers from the Seattle Mariners last month.

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.