• Phillies taking their time discussing contract extension with Realmuto
  • Realmuto future depends on whether 2020 MLB season pushes through
  • Phillies have several players that need addressing

The Philadelphia Phillies have yet to get any contract extensions done with J.T. Realmuto, someone they acquired back in February. Though the 28-year-old catcher still has a live contract for the coming MLB season, it would be best for the Phillies to think long-term.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, it appears the Phillies and Realmuto have already started contract negotiations. But with the MLB one of the leagues forced to place everything on hold due to the coronavirus, discussions have temporarily been placed on hold according to general manager Matt Klentak.

It would be best to note that there is no roster freeze in effect as of the moment. Players and teams are not prohibited from discussing long-term agreements but this is also affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the 2020 MLB season facing uncertainty, the decisions and moves of teams will likely depend on whether games are happening this year or not, MLB Trade Rumors suggested.

Hence, Realmuto and the Phillies are now shelving talks on a possible contract extension for now with talks likely resuming once there is clarity on a 2020 MLB season. And if that does come, expect Realmuto to be the first player that Philadelphia will address.

“We do not have clarity. There’s a possibility we will have to make some of those decisions this week,” Klentak said.

Looking beyond Realmuto, the Phillies may have a handful of players they need to deal with as well. Established veteran MLB players like Neil Walker, Logan Forsythe, and Anthony Swarzak are speculated to be opting out of their deals, something that was expected to happen Thursday. But with the unfortunate turn of events, plans for that may be pushed back as well.

The MLB has already canceled spring training and delayed Opening Day by at least two weeks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommended for gatherings of 50 or more people to be either canceled or postponed over the next eight weeks, possibly more if the coronavirus pandemic shows no significant improvement.

“This action is being taken in the interests of the safety and well-being of our players, Clubs and our millions of loyal fans,’’ MLB Commissioner Manfred said. “MLB will continue to evaluate ongoing events leading up to the start of the season.”

JT Realmuto will not sign an extension with the Marlins and will be allowed to leave via trade this offseason. In this picture, Realmuto #11 of the Miami Marlins hits a double in the bottom of 7th inning during the game two of the Japan and MLB All Stars at Tokyo Dome in Japan, Nov. 10, 2018. Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images