Three factors will drive the interest in free agency and the ultimate payout for J.T. Realmuto:
1. The perception that the current level of catching in the majors -- at least from a hitting standpoint -- is at a historic low.
2. Realmuto is a good hitter! He leads all catchers in runs and RBIs over the past three seasons and ranks third behind Yasmani Grandal and Mitch Garver in wRC+. He is also a good defender with excellent framing metrics; he won a Gold Glove in 2019. He is also a plus athlete, with above-average speed, and while he will be entering his age-30 season, that athleticism could help him age well on a long-term deal.
3. Certain big-market teams are in drastic need of a catcher -- the Phillies, Mets and Yankees should all be interested in Realmuto's services.