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The Best Catcher in Free Agency (Not Named Realmuto)

There are few things in baseball worth more than a star-level catcher. Playing a position that requires you to squat each day for a 162-game season makes for a lot of injuries and shortened careers, and the role of a catcher is so crucial between game-calling, baserunning control, framing, and blocking, that just playing your good defense and being pitcher-friendly will get you a long career no matter how horrible you are with the bat.

Fortunately for all teams in need of a receiver, the 2020 free agent market offers one of the rarest cases among the sport, a true five-tool catcher: J.T. Realmuto, the former Marlins and Phillies backstop, is available for his mere salary.

You want a steady bat, maybe with some thump? Realmuto walks in sporting a career .278 AVG, .455 SLG, and double-digit homers in each of his six “full” seasons in the league.

You need a reliable asset, one that punches the ticket and goes to work? He averaged over 130 games from 2015-19.

You need a rock-solid defender that can also help your guy on the mound? J.T. is there for you with a rocket arm (over 88 mph on his average throw) and a spotless fielding percentage, and while he’s behind the plate, he’ll steal strikes for your pitchers as a 95th-percentile framer does.

Heck, he’ll even run if you ask him to, dashing at over 28 mph, making him an 84th-percentile runner, an absurdity given his role on the field. Read the rest of this entry »