"I think the Phillies organization absolutely loves J.T. and our team absolutely loves him as well," Bryce Harper told Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports. "He's the best catcher in baseball. He's a great person. He's a great family man. He's a guy that we need in our clubhouse.
"I think the Phillies fans understand that as well. Us as an organization, we have to understand that he's going to help us in the years to come and if you want the best catcher in baseball then we'll make that happen."
Prior to the 2019 season, the Phillies traded a package headlined by pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez and catcher Jorge Alfaro to the Miami Marlins for Realmuto. In his first season with Philadelphia, Realmuto won his first Gold Glove while adding another Silver Slugger to his mantle in his second All-Star campaign.
Additionally, the 29-year-old set career highs in home runs (25) and slugging percentage (.493) while playing 145 games, the second-most appearances by any MLB catcher behind Yasmani Grandal.
While Harper is optimistic about his club retaining Realmuto, he also noted the current roster freeze caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
"Of course, (roster moves are) shut down, but I don't think anybody should fear us not getting J.T. back. I want him more than anything, so I mean it's something we need to make happen as an organization. But you know when that time comes, then (GM Matt) Klentak and (managing partner John) Middleton will make that decision and hopefully, he's back in Phillies red."
Harper joined the Phillies during the same transformative offseason as Realmuto, inking a then-record 13-year, $330-million contract with the club.