A good question, posed by The Athletic:
The disaster scenario for the Phillies is if the Mets, Nationals or Braves sign Realmuto.
The Mets, under new ownership, could offer a deal the Phillies might not be willing to match if they’re looking to significantly reduce payroll for the next season or two. Andrew Knapp proved he’s a good backup catcher.
But going from Realmuto to a combination of Knapp and Rafael Marchan/veteran catcher is a significant drop-off. The likelihood of the designated hitter sticking in the NL helps mitigate concerns about the effectiveness of Realmuto, who turns 30 in March, in the latter years of a four- or five-year contract. It helps he can play first base, too.
When the Phillies gave up a prime asset in Sixto Sánchez and a still-developing catcher in Jorge Alfaro for Realmuto as part of the February 2019 trade, they kicked open their window for postseason contention and a World Series title. It also signaled Realmuto would become part of their winning core. Failing to retain him would be a big blow to the Phillies’ short- and long-term goals.