CLEARWATER, Fla. — All along, J.T. Realmuto’s salary arbitration hearing was just going to be the first act in one of the biggest storylines of the spring in Phillies camp.
Regardless of whether the arbitration panel ruled in favor of Realmuto or against him, he was going to be well paid in 2020.
Realmuto ended up losing the case but will make $10 million this season, a 69 percent raise from last season and a record amount for a catcher eligible for salary arbitration.
Realmuto, who had sought to make $12.4 million, said he was not disappointed with the amount of money he will make, but in the arbitration system that views catchers through a different prism than other position players.
“It’s so outdated,” he said. “There’s a separate catchers’ market. That’s what the team’s main case was on, that you can’t go outside of the catchers’ market. But if you line my numbers up with position players, that’s where our figure comes into play. It’s never happened before where catchers go out of the catchers’ market, but it’s not in the rules that says you can’t. The team knows that they had a pretty strong case just for that and they took advantage of it.
“I wanted to do…