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All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto signing 5-year deal with Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto had a .266 batting average with 11 home runs and 32 RBIs for the Phillies last season. File Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/UPI
Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto had a .266 batting average with 11 home runs and 32 RBIs for the Phillies last season. File Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 26 (UPI) -- The Philadelphia Phillies are signing All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto to a massive five-year contract that will make him the highest-paid player at the position in MLB history.

League sources told ESPN and MLB Media on Tuesday that Realmuto and the Phillies are in agreement on a five-year, $115.5 million deal. The team has yet to confirm the signing, which is pending a physical.

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The $23.1 million average annual value in Realmuto's contract is the highest for any catcher in league history. He also is only the third catcher in Major League Baseball history to sign a deal worth more than $100 million, joining Joe Mauer (eight-year, $184 million extension in 2010) and Buster Posey (nine-year, $167 million extension in 2013).

Mauer previously held the record for highest average annual value -- at $23 million -- with his deal in 2010.

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Realmuto is the first catcher to sign a contract worth more than $100 million in free agency.

The 29-year-old Realmuto has been one of the top all-around catchers in the majors, batting .266 with 11 home runs and 32 RBIs for the Phillies last season. Since 2018, he leads all MLB catchers in WAR (10.1), RBIs (189) and stolen bases (16). He is second in slugging percentage (.489) and OPS (.825) and third in home runs (57) among catchers.

Defensively, Realmuto has 11 runs saved over the last two seasons, ranking fourth among catchers who have played more than 1,000 innings.

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Realmuto, a two-time All-Star selection, won the Gold Glove Award in 2019. He also has won the Silver Slugger Award at catcher twice.

In 732 career games with the Miami Marlins and Phillies, Realmuto has recorded a .278 batting average with 95 home runs and 358 RBIs. He has spent the past two seasons in Philadelphia.

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