Mets Rumors: Astros catcher Max Stassi is a worthwhile trade candidate
By Tim Boyle
If the New York Mets truly want a bargain catcher with some great qualities, Houston Astros backstop Max Stassi may be the way to go.
In their pursuit of possibly adding a catcher, many names have popped up for the New York Mets. Fans will cross their fingers wishing a deal for J.T. Realmuto gets done. A more realistic pursuit is one for Houston Astros catcher Max Stassi.
According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, Stassi is the latest name to join the Mets rumor mill. When compared to others like Realmuto, Wilson Ramos, and Blake Swihart the name is underwhelming. However, he’s the most attainable right now.
Stassi has played parts of six seasons with the Astros since 2013. This year, he has already passed his previous high of 31 plate appearances. It’s not for lack of ability. Stassi has put up favorable minor league numbers more than once. The Astros simply didn’t have room for him last year while platooning Brian McCann and Evan Gattis behind the plate. Though they have a need for him this season, they proved they can win without him only a few months ago.
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When it comes to a guy like Stassi, I want good defensive numbers. Stassi is not Ivan Rodriguez, but he can throw out base runners. He’s already done it well in the major leagues, too. Even in a small sample size, I think Stassi has a better handle on keeping runners honest any internal candidate for the Mets.
Kevin Plawecki won’t miss significant time this year, which is why the Mets need to react accordingly. They aren’t going to land a big name catcher this early in the season. A lesser known guy like Stassi is a different story.
Thus far, the Mets have gotten little out of Jose Lobaton and Tomas Nido on offense. On the positive side, each did recently nail a base runner trying to steal a base. This is more than Plawecki or Travis d’Arnaud can claim in 2018.
I don’t see Lobaton finally figuring out how to hit or Nido making the necessary strides to stay in the big leagues for long. The Mets are giving away outs right now and could really benefit from a guy like Stassi. I would hope his experience in the Astros’ winning locker room last season could also rub off on the Mets, though, that’s reaching.
The Mets need to do something at catcher to end the agony. Stassi is off to a fine start in 2018, which only makes the asking price higher the longer they wait.
Next: Mets should name Tomas Nido their starting catcher
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Far from a long-term solution, Stassi gives the Mets just a little boost and it’s what they need more than ever right now behind the plate.