This offseason is an important one for the Nationals. Coming off of a weird, unpredictable, and disappointing 2020 season, it's been well documented Washington needs to fill a bunch of roster holes if they want to return to the postseason, let alone another World Series.
Free agency is a chance for them to plug some of those holes, but just because someone's considered a big name, doesn't mean he's worth the money for the Nats.
That's where things fall for catcher JT Realmuto. Save the cash, use it elsewhere.
Download and Subscribe to the Nationals Talk Podcast
With so many issues for the Nats to figure out, the price tag on the 30-year-old backstop is going to be too much.
He clearly wants to reset the market at his position, and even though catchers usually don't sign huge contracts in free agency, the Yasmani Grandal deal that landed him a four-year, $73 million contract last winter means Realmuto will beat that by plenty.
Sure the Nationals would be a fit for him. They're losing half of their catching platoon with Kurt Suzuki’s contract expiring, leaving Yan Gomes and a bunch of unproven catching prospects like Raudy Read, Tres Barrera and Jakson Reetz to sift through.
That being said, any big moves the Nationals make this offseason have to take into consideration the other more pressing issues coming down the pipes.
Max Scherzer is a free agent after the 2021 season and Trea Turner the winter after that. It also won't be long before extensions for Juan Soto and Victor Robles need to be addressed, and that's hoping they even get a chance to talk extension before they hit free agency.
Baseball is notorious for deals that run way too long. Sure, this won't be a ridiculous 13-year Bryce Harper deal (which shouldn't exist in any sport, by the way, it's stupid and no one should sign a 13-year deal anywhere in life) but even if Realmuto gets a five or six-year deal, the number of starts generally decline as catchers age into their 30s.
The one factor that could change the Nats' thought process here, is if the National League keeps the DH. That would at least increase plate appearances for Realmuto without having to consider a move to first base a few years into the contract.
Either way, with Realmuto considered the best free agent on the market, you're likely to get into a bidding war, and given the fact the Nationals need help in their bullpen, backend of the rotation, third base, and countless other spots, this isn't the best use of their time or resources.
Don't get caught up in the Realmuto sweepstakes. It's just not worth it.