The Mets Junkies Podcast (Episode 13): Making a Murder PT II, not really… We’re making a rotation.

Michael Garaffa, the newest writer with MetsJunkies.com joins Gem to talk about Bauer, the Mets rotation, and the Almora acquisition.

Keeping it Real(muto): Comparing Mccann to Realmuto

Mets find themselves in need of a Catcher and find themselves in the fortunate position where: a) Two great options are available in McCann and Realmuto. b) Have a new owner with deep pockets looking to improve the team. c) Have an active payroll entering 2021 season well under the luxury tax threshold (about $81 million to spend). I will be analyzing the numbers behind the two options and convince you why the Mets need to sign Realmuto over McCann. The numbers are a combination from 2017 through 2020 season. I used baseball-reference.com for my research. I think it paints an obvious picture as which of the two would drastically improve the Mets.

CategoryJames McCannJT RealmutoWinner
Age30 (June 13, 1990)29 (March 18, 1991)Realmuto
Hits per AB331 H 1315 AB (25.17%)474 H 1898 AB (24.97%)McCann (although its a much smaller sample size)
Extra base hits (no HR)62 (59 2B / 3 3B)114 (103 2B / 11 3B)Realmuto
HR4674Realmuto
RBI163254Realmuto
Average.252.276Realmuto
OBP.308.335Realmuto
SLUG.406.477Realmuto
WAR5.514.5Realmuto
Defensive WAR2.43.7Realmuto
Isolated Power (ISO).154.202Realmuto
Caught Stealing %32.5%35.5%Realmuto
ERA (Catching)4.434.84McCann
Expected Contract
(MLBTradeRumors)
2 year $20 MIL5 years $125 MILMcCann
MLB Stats from 2017 – 2020

What about blocking Francisco Alvarez? Listen… I am a HUGE prospect guy. I absolutely love seeing these kids develop into studs and have a successful careers in the MLB level. HOWEVER, the kid has yet to prove himself in the higher competitive levels in the Minors and has an ETA of 2023 earliest to the big show. I would hate for the Mets to rush his development. Catchers usually take a lot longer to develop in the minors than most other players. Realmuto on a 5 year deal is NOT going to impact the 19 year old’s path to the bigs. If anything, the final year of Realmuto’s contract with the Mets would be beneficial towards Alvarez. Alvarez can come up as a backup catcher on the Mets roster in 2024 and learn from Realmuto.

I am just I am going to keeping it Real(muto) with you. James McCann is a great option for a team on a tight budget. There are plenty of teams looking to sign him for that very same reason. When it comes to the numbers as listed above, JT Realmuto dominated McCann. Whoever is signing McCann is going to get a quality defensive Catcher on the cheaper side. Whoever signs Realmuto, gets a game changer defensively and offensively. The likelihood of another Catcher of Realmuto’s level ever reaching free agency is slim to none. It is a very rare opportunity and the Mets have the resources to make it happen. I also believe that by signing Realmuto, it sets the tone to the rest of baseball, especially to the very talented NLE, that the New York Mets are NOT messing around.

(Cover Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)

Mets Hot Stove News

Two current Mets target were in the news today. First off, George Springer.

According to ShiDavidi, the Blue Jays have progressed in talks with the free agent center fielder. ShiDavidi said “the Blue Jays are more then just talking”. Springer is a major target for the Mets their free agent hole in CF, but could go for the north side of the border.

Also read: Free Agent Target: Jackie Bradley Jr

That wasn’t the only news about a major free agent and this didn’t come from a reporter, but the owner of the Phillies. The Phillies owner John Middleton said that the Phillies can not afford to re-sign Realmuto due to major financial loses during the COVID-19 Pandemic. This means a major rival in signing Realmuto, is out. This makes a Realmuto to Mets even more likely.

Also read: Mets Catcher Fix: If Realmuto isn’t an option

Photo from The Athletic

Mets Catcher Fix: If Realmuto isn’t an option

By Angelina Heather Rizzo

If the New York Mets do not get JT Realmuto this off-season, and Yadier Molina isn’t coming to Queens, or even a guy like James McCann, here’s how the Mets can avoid embarrassment at the catcher position and pull off the win.

The Mets sometimes get irrational and make moves out of desperation, so trading for a catcher instead of signing one in free agency isn’t what I’m suggesting here. I’m suggesting they take the home grown approach and look within their farm system.

It may be a move that you wouldn’t think about because you obviously want a big name catcher, but, if all else fails and you are running out of options, you can try to develop home grown talent.

Also read: What will it take to get Realmuto?

Calling up Austin Bossart or David Rodriguez or even second overall prospect Francisco Alvarez especially, in particular Alvarez, couldn’t hurt the team if it’s only for an experiment or for until a better catcher is made available to the team. Who knows? You might find a hidden treasure in one of them at the catcher position down the road.

In 2019, Alvarez, for two teams, hit 7 home runs and 26 batted in with a .312 batting average.

In 2019, Bossart hit 7 home runs and 29 RBI’s with a .200 batting average for Binghamton. He was on two teams in 2019.

Also read: Shaping up the Mets bullpen

As for David Rodriguez, he hit 7 home runs and 34 RBI’s with a .225 batting average. He was on two teams as well in 2019.

While these stats are small and not at all good or significant, the Mets could develop one or more of these players. Sometimes all you need is a little patience.

Here’s a look at the obviously better with the bat Realmuto’s 2020:

Also read: Taking a look at Springer’s defense

In 2020, Realmuto hit 11 home runs and 32 RBI’s with a .266 batting average.

In 2020, Yadier Molina hit 4 home runs and 16 RBI’s with a .262 batting average.

In 2020, James McCann hit 7 home runs and drove in 15 with a .289 batting average.

You obviously want a guy like Realmuto over McCann and McCann over Molina, and Molina over the homegrown options at the moment.

Also read: International Free Agency Preview: A Tale of two Cubans- Part I

Currently behind the plate is Tomás Nido, and here’s a look at Nido’s 2020.

In 2020, Nido hit 2 home runs and drove in 6 runs with a .292 batting average. His batting average was nice, but, the Mets need a better option at catcher in the grand scheme of things.

To say the least, trying new things won’t hurt, especially if it’s not for long. I say they deserve a chance, especially if all else fails.

Also read: Free Agent Target: Liam Hendriks

Photo from Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

MLB Trade Rumors Predictions

MLBtraderumors.com is the baseball site, with arguably the best predictions among free agent signings. They posted their TOP 50 free agents predictions earlier today and here are the players they picked the Mets to sign.

J.T. Realmuto 5/125: They picked the Mets to get the best catcher on the market for a 5 year deal, worth 25 mil per season. Although, in a recent article, I mentioned my desire to sign James McCann instead, it’s no secret Realmuto is the best catcher in baseball. Getting him, would improve the Mets in a big way. He is a good hitting catcher with great pop time/framing skills. He is one of the few catchers than can play all parts of the game very well. And for the deal he is expecting to get, it’s a solid move for a big improvement.

Also read: Top 10 Mets Prospects Entering the 2020 season (Part 2 of 2)

Charlie Morton 1/8: According to MLBtraderumors, the Mets will miss out and settle for Charlie Morton to fill their rotation. Morton coming off an off year, but was his better self after returning from the IL. Morton pitched well again in the playoffs, to show his old form isn’t completely gone. I really like Morton, but not as the only addition to bolster the rotation, which was horrid. For 1 year at 8 mil, getting Morton is a great deal.

Overall this was a underwhelmed projection. I hope and expected the Mets to do more in the free agent market. Or will they be more active in the trade market? Fun offseason coming up.

Also read: #MetsCrushMonday: Thomas Szapucki

Photo credit: MLBTradeRumors.com (MLBTR)

Free agent target: James McCann

There is an expectation around MLB insiders that the Mets will have a new catcher named J.T. Realmuto in 2021. Obviously Realmuto is a great catcher, arguably the best out there. Him in Orange and Blue would be great, but not how I would spend the money. In comes: James McCann.

James McCann has been a very solid hitter for the White Sox over the last 2 seasons. He hit .273/.328/.460 in 2019, followed by a better slash line in 2020 (.289/.360/.536). This comes after years of under average hitting seasons. Looking at the stat cast numbers, it shows McCann average exit velo was up and he barreled more pitches up. He went from 180th in exit velo to 79th in the majors. A clear indicator he has been hitting the ball with more authority. It actually increased his whiff%, but who cares?

Also read: Mets acquire reliever

On the defensive side, McCann was in the 88th percentile in framing, something Mets catchers have lacked in recent years. His pop up time to second isn’t great, but overall he was and still is a very solid defensive catcher. Even if he declines on the offensive side, he is still a solid defender that has shown little issues with his health so far in his career.

Contract wise, McCann is a far cheaper option than Realmuto. According to Fangraphs, McCann is projected to get a 2 year deal worth 7 mil per year. While I think McCann will get a better deal (3/24), I still think it’s worth while. IMO, that’s a better gamble than getting Realmuto for the contract he wants.

Again, love Realmuto as a player. He is clearly the best out there. But spending money, should be wisely, even if you can spend a lot. Sandy will try and work that way and maybe look at McCann or other catchers instead of the big gun.

Also read: Hello, is it me (Salvador Perez) you’re looking for?

Photo: USA Today

Free agent target: Kevin Gausman

A lot of Mets pages talk about the big free agents. JT Realmuto, Trevor Bauer and George Springer are names mentioned as the Mets primair targets. However, I can not imagine the Mets signing the top three free agents this off-season, even with the Steve Cohen being the new owner.

So, let’s take a look at some of the free agents, lower in the ranks. First up, Kevin Gausman.

Also read: Hello, is it me (Jon Gray) you’re looking for?

Gausman, is coming off a strong showing with the Giants. The 29 year old pitched to a 3.62 ERA/3.09FIP over 59.2 innings. Gausman struck out 11.9 per nine and allowed just 7.5 hits per nine, both career best.

The swing and miss stuff that Gausman showed, was a major plus. He was in the 88th percentile in K% and in the 84th percentile in whiff%. Big part of that improvement is his use if his splitfinger. He has used his four seamer less and his splitter more. Hitters aren’t doing a lot on his splitter: .123 XBA .150 XWOBA .196 XSLG. Those are ridiculous numbers. Funny thing about his splitter, that the more he used it, the worst succes hitters have against that pitch.

His 2020 success is explained with an adjustment. Using his splitter (best pitch) more and more and getting great results with it. Reason I do believe Gausman can keep this success going forward. Overall in his career he pitched to a 4.23 ERA and a 4.06 FIP in 985.1 innings. So the hope his recent adjustment will keep his 2020 results.

Money wise, Gausman won’t break the bank. According to fangraphs, he will likely sign a deal around 2-3 years woth 12-14 mil per year. Solid arm for that type of money IMO.

Also read: Former CY Young to Queens?

Photo credit to San Francisco Chronicle

Four things the Mets must do to become contenders.

By Angelina Heather Rizzo and Cem Tablak

The New York Mets are still a million miles away from playoff contention; not a typo.

Even with new ownership in the building, here’s what Steve Cohen needs to do in order for Mets fans to see the team reach the big stage again.

Pitching:


Adding Trevor Bauer will no doubt help the rotation. He can be a bit much on social media, yet, his stats remain untouchable this past 2020 regular season.

Here’s a look at Bauer’s 2020.

2.7 WAR, a 5-4 record, a 1.73 ERA, and a 0.795 WHIP.

Bauer is the main guy the Mets should be targeting, atop all other needs. Pitching wins games.

Also read: Top 10 Mets Prospects Entering the 2020 Season (Part 1)

Catcher:

JT Realmuto wants OUT of Philly. Yes, you read that correctly too. The Phillies and Realmuto are very distant on a mutual agreement, meaning Realmuto to Flushing could very well happen if Cohen works his magic.

Let’s take a look at Realmuto in 2020:

He hit 11 home runs, 32 batted in with a .266 batting average.

The Mets need a good catcher and I mean, need, one. Realmuto fits that category perfectly. The Mets need to sign him or someone of his caliber to be a deep threat in the playoffs or even to get there.

Also read: What will it take to get Realmuto?

DroppinGems:

Centerfield:

By no means would Harrison Bader of the St. Louis Cardinals be a “huge splash” to the lineup however the Mets have been missing a true lead-off centerfielder. And Bader would bring just that to the Mets, at least against LHP’s. In 261 career at-bats vs lefties, Bader owns a .264/.338/.517/.855 slash line with 13 home runs and and seven stolen bases. Again, these numbers aren’t explosive, but paired up with Bader’s elite defensive abilities, he would easily be a welcomed addition.

Reliever:

Lugo did a solid job for the Mets and stepped up into the rotation when the team needed it the most, that’s a soldier. And I’m sure if Lugo were asked right now, his preference would probably be to stay in the starting rotation. The fact of the matter is that Lugo is much better suited for the back end of the bullpen.

In 38 starts, Lugo owns an ERA of 4.35 with 174 strikeouts in 194.2 innings. While these numbers aren’t bad, his numbers as a reliever are closer to stellar. Out of the pen, he’s pitched in 129 games and has posted a 2.53 ERA in 188.2 innings pitched. His strikeout numbers also make a jump up from 8.0 SO/9 to 10.0. This will also allow Cohen and the Mets to throw any extra money at starting pitching.

Also read: Stro vs. Bauer. Who to get? Part one & Stro vs. Bauer. Who to get? Part two

Photo: Yahoo! Sports

Is Yadier Molina a fit in Flushing?

The BNNY crew over at SNY came together and spoke about if the Mets should sign catcher Yadier Molina. And while we know that many fans want a player like JT Realmuto, James McCann, or even Salvador Perez, Molina is a clear option for the most obvious of reasons.

Molina is a 9x All-Star as well as a 9x Gold Glove winner and 4x Platinum Glove winner that handles a pitching staff incredibly well. The scrappy Puerto Rican catcher has always been a grinder and is a determined winner, sounds like something the Mets could use as new ownership takes over.

Also read: Just how important is McNeil

It’s not like Molina had a terrible 2020 campaign (.262/.303/.359/.662) but he’s definitely on a steady decline at 38 years old. So if the Mets do decide to make an acquisition, it may be on a platoon basis, or even a mentor role as a back-up catcher.

I’d imagine he’d take a mentor/back-up catcher role with the St. Louis Cardinals before anyone else, however Steve Cohen’s fat wallet may have the veteran reconsidering all of his options.

If he does come to the Mets, the future Hall of Famer would be a perfect mentor for the likes of Ali Sanchez, young phenom Francisco Alvarez, and even Tomas Nido.

Also read: Giving Stroman a qualifying offer, is a no brainer

Photo from the St. Louis Post