Realmuto lost his arbitration case on Thursday and he's blaming an unfair precedent that limits the earnings of catchers compared to other position players.
"It's so outdated," Realmuto said, according to Scott Lauber of The Philadelphia Inquirer. "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."
Realmuto was 15th among all qualified hitters in 2019 with 5.7 wins above replacement on FanGraphs, which was also best among backstops. He hit .275/.328/.493 with 25 home runs while playing Gold Glove defense to earn his second consecutive All-Star selection.
For his final year of arbitration, he requested $12.4 million. The Phillies countered with $10 million, which is still a record for a catcher in his third year of arbitration.
Despite the frustration with the process, Realmuto isn't writing off a long-term stay in Philadelphia.
"What we went through in the hearing doesn't change anything from my outlook," he said, according to Lauber.
Barring an extension, Realmuto will hit free agency after the 2020 season.