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Phillies deal for C Realmuto

The Associated PressMIAMI (AP) — In October, J.T. Realmuto’s agent predicted the Miami Marlins’ All-Star catcher would be with another team by spring training.

He was right.

After months of speculation over what they’d do, the Marlins traded Realmuto on Thursday to the Philadelphia Phillies for catcher Jorge Alfaro, two pitching prospects and $250,000 in international signing bonus pool allocation.

Along with Alfaro, the Phillies gave up 20-year-old right-hander Sixto Sanchez, their top prospect, and left-hander Will Stewart.

“This is about us acquiring the best catcher in baseball,” Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said, “and we’re really excited about that.”

Realmuto, who turns 28 in March, had been with the Marlins longer than any other current player. His agent, Jeff Berry, predicted a trade after Realmuto informed the Marlins last fall he wouldn’t sign a long-term contract with them.

The Marlins got the deal done six days before their pitchers and catchers report to spring training. A rebuilding project for the perennial also-rans will probably continue for several years under CEO Derek Jeter, whose group bought the club after the 2017 season.

“We did not have to trade J.T.,” president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. “But our goal is to build a long-term sustainable championship organization.”

The deal could vault the Phillies into playoff contention, and they’re still pursuing free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. They bolstered their lineup earlier with the additions of shortstop Jean Segura and 2013 NL MVP Andrew McCutchen.

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