The Mets didn’t do much this offseason, but one thing they at least talked about doing was signing a catcher to compete and split playing time with Josh Thole. They did pick up Rob Johnson in December — he of the career .197 batting average — but Johnson is more likely to battle Mike Nickeas for the backup job than to put any real pressure on Thole. After the Mets let Ronny Paulino go, plenty of names were in the mix as potential behind-the-dish snags. Nothing panned out.
Here’s a brief review of catchers the Mets could have signed, but passed over:
1. Ramon Castro
We learned early this month that the Mets thought about reuniting with Castro, who played with them from 2005 to the middle of ’09. But the popular ex-Met will be staying with the White Sox in 2012.
The Mets pondered signing Pudge on and off all winter, and they were still considering him as recently as late February. However, they never really seemed committed to locking him up, and talks eventually fizzled out.
3. Ryan Doumit
Doumit is an offensive catcher, although he’s four years removed from his best year in ’08 when he hit .318 with 15 homers. We here at Rising Apple thought he would have been a decent option, but the Twins grabbed him in late November for one year, $3 million — perhaps out of the Mets’ price range.
4. Chris Snyder
The Mets were probably more likely to sign Snyder last offseason than this one, but his name did come up a few times this winter. He’s basically a poor man’s Doumit offensively, with a bit of power and a .231 lifetime average. He would have been a low risk, minimal reward signing for the Mets since he was hurt for much of last season, but the Astros went for it instead, inking him to a one-year deal with an option for 2013.
5. Rod Barajas
Barajas wasn’t exactly stellar in his few months with the Mets in 2010, and I don’t blame them for passing on him. They likely believed Nickeas could be a better defensive backup, or at least one with more potential. The Pirates, perhaps knowing they were soon to be without both Doumit and Snyder, may have overpaid a bit for Barajas in early November, giving him a $4 million deal for 2012 in addition to a one-year option.
It would have been nice to see the Mets pick up someone like Shoppach, whom they apparently showed interest in back in December. He could have split time nicely with Thole since he hits lefties well, and he would have come cheap: the Red Sox signed him for a year at just $1.135 million.