As we sit here In January, only weeks until pitchers and catchers report, New York still has areas that need to be improved.
One of those areas – much to the distaste of fans – is the catcher position.
According to a report by the New York Daily News’ John Harper, the Mets seem set at that position, and will more than likely go into spring training, and the 2017 season, with Travis d’Arnaud as the starter and Rene Rivera as his backup. In regards to the team, one doesn’t need eyeglasses to see that the catcher position isn’t the strongest of areas on this roster.
And with speculation that the top free agent catcher – Matt Wieters – is still on the market, it would obviously raise questions as to why the Mets wouldn’t shell out a contract to immediately fix one of their most glaring needs. Honestly, I think New York would be better situated NOT to offer a big contract to Wieters.
"“We’re not spending our money on a catcher,” the source said, according to Harper."
We see throughout any free agent season that each category of players has top-tier, middle-tier and lower-tier individuals. While Matt Wieters is a good catcher, would he be worth the 4 year/$80 million deal he is looking for?Is $15-$20 million a season worth it for a career .256 hitter? Would he be astronomically better than d’Arnaud throughout a full season of healthy baseball?
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If healthy – and that’s a huge if – New York would obviously rather have d’Arnaud at a far less price ($542,604 in 2016 compared to Wieters projected $15-$20 million/season for 2017) than Matt Wieters. Even if the numbers aren’t the same, the money is what controls any move, and New York just won’t commit that much money to career hitter below the .260 mark.
In a season where we saw Travis d’Arnaud injured for most of it (shocker), and below average when he did return from injury both offensively a
nd defensively, Rene Rivera was mostly used with Kevin Plawecki backing him up. It has obviously been his downfall, but d’Arnaud needs a season where he limits his injuries. We saw when he returned from injury in 2015 that he played extremely well. He also added pop at the bottom of the order throughout the postseason. But man, does 2015 seem like ages ago.
While it is a big if, it’s obvious the Mets would rather roll with one guy who has potential, and two backups if needed, rather than pay big bucks for a catcher who is good, but doesn’t deserve that deal. New York is more inclined to make a move during the season if they desperately need to, rather than give Matt WIeters $20 million a season. I don’t think it is odd to still see him on the market this close to pitchers and catchers reporting in about a month, for that reason alone.