Catcher J.T. Realmuto isn’t the only player on the Miami Marlins the New York Mets had interest in over the winter. Infielder Starlin Castro also piqued their interest.
The New York Mets needed some big changes this winter. Two positions they looked to potentially upgrade were behind the plate and at second base. We know they decided to stick with their catching platoon of Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki. At second base, they allowed Asdrubal Cabrera a chance to redeem himself with the fans.
Before deciding to keep things as is, the Mets did talk with the division rival Miami Marlins about two players. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, catcher J.T. Realmuto and infielder Starlin Castro were both targets for the Mets.
It’s no shock to see the Mets inquire about Realmuto. As long as he’s in Miami, every team with a need behind the plate will ask.
Castro is a bit more surprising. Dealt to the Marlins in the Giancarlo Stanton deal with the New York Yankees, Castro had a shot at returning to New York before ever stepping foot in the Marlins’ locker room. Of course, a trade never came to fruition.
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As it turns out, the Mets may have made the right decision in sticking with Cabrera.
Though younger and very productive, Castro isn’t much better than Cabrera at this stage of his career. He’s also locked up for two more seasons after 2018. A more costly contract would have cost the Mets flexibility at second base next season. If they are interested in nabbing one of the notable second base who hit free agency next winter, they wouldn’t be able to do so with Castro on the roster.
The benefit of having Cabrera on the roster in 2018 instead of Castro is the Mets are able to go multiple directions in 2019. They can offer Cabrera an extension or turn things over to the kids. Gavin Cecchini looks destined to at least try out for the second base job in the next two seasons. The Mets can get a better gauge how ready he is and go from there.
The Mets will most certainly re-explore the possibility of adding Realmuto, though, their weak farm system should put a damper on that this season. Meanwhile, the need for Castro seems to have disappeared almost completely. Cabrera is hitting very well and everyone but Jose Reyes has contributed.
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It looks like a one-way ticket from Miami to LaGuardia isn’t in the cards for Castro this year.