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.

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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

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