Mets and Arizona should talk trade, but there’s an issue

By Danny Abriano

On Monday night, it was reported by Jon Morosi of Fox Sports that the Diamondbacks were a team to watch on the trade market, due in part to their glaring need for a major league-caliber starting catcher.

With the Diamondbacks also searching for starting pitching, a potential match with the Mets (who have two very good catchers and excess starting pitching) seemed obvious.

However, Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart, who has a laughable opinion of analytical front offices, said the following on Tuesday afternoon:

"I’ve decided that I’m not going to pursue another catcher. I talked with my people and my coaching staff. They believe that [Peter] O’Brien is going to be around sooner than later. If that does happen, there’s no need to go out and get another guy. We would have had to trade somebody we didn’t want to trade to make it happen. We’re going to be patient and allow the progression of O’Brien to take place and stand pat on that."

If Stewart isn’t bluffing, he’s putting lots of faith in Peter O’Brien, a player who most scouts believe won’t be able to stick at catcher. In addition to his defensive deficiencies, there are also questions about whether O’Brien will be over-matched offensively once he reaches the majors.

Circling back to the potential match between the Mets and Diamondbacks…if Stewart changes his mind about acquiring a catcher, the Mets should be on the phone with him the very next second.

In Kevin Plawecki, the Mets have a valuable catcher who is just about big league-ready but who is currently blocked by Travis d’Arnaud.

For Arizona, shortstop Chris Owings is slated to be their starter in 2015, but perhaps the Mets could entice them with an offer of Plawecki and a young arm such as Rafael Montero.

If that fails, the Mets could attempt a bolder move, offering Travis d’Arnaud straight up for Owings.

There haven’t been any reports that Arizona is willing to deal Owings, but when the right offer is made, anything is possible.

Behind Owings at shortstop, Arizona has slick-fielding Nick Ahmed, so it’s not out of the question that they’d be open to dealing Owings for the right package.

If Arizona decides to explore the trade market for catching – to go with their search for starting pitching – the Mets should make the call. It’s certainly worth a try.