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Mets catcher Devin Mesoraco has a lot to play for in 2018

CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 09: Devin Mesoraco #29 of the New York Mets strikes out in the ninth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on May 9, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 09: Devin Mesoraco #29 of the New York Mets strikes out in the ninth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on May 9, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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New York Mets catcher Devin Mesoraco has plenty to play for in 2018. He’s finally in games with meaning and playing for his future.

When NBA Hall of Famer Allen Iverson played basketball, one of his nicknames was “The Answer.” New York Mets catcher Devin Mesoraco won’t have the same nickname because he’s far from a solution to their backstop woes.

However, Mesoraco is a risk worth taking. He can’t possibly be worse than Jose Lobaton or Tomas Nido. At least, that’s what Mets fans are hoping for.

This year is a big one for Mesoraco. Not only does he turn 30 this summer, he also becomes unemployed at the end of the year. When you’re that age and the future has a lot of unanswered questions, it’s time to give your best effort. I do believe Mesoraco will.

Mesoraco is in the final year of his contract, which the Cincinnati Reds are still paying. As a guy with a multitude of health issues and struggles, he’ll have a tough time finding a job in 2019. The only way he gets an MLB deal is if he has some success with the Mets.

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Good catchers are a rare breed. Mesoraco barely registers on the talent scale, with just one quality year on his resume. Granted, it was an All-Star season which accounts for more than half of his career home runs and RBI.

Mesoraco is playing for his future. Just as Matt Harvey is vying for a new contract this winter, Mesoraco is trying out for a job. He can certainly find one on the Mets. First, he’ll need to prove he isn’t a lost cause.

It’s unlikely we see Mesoraco earn another All-Star bid. This doesn’t mean he’s done on the baseball field. In the right environment, with health on his side, the former first-round pick can become a suitable platoon player for several more years.

There was plenty of hype for Mesoraco when he was first drafted 15th overall by the Reds. The only other catcher selected before him was Matt Wieters. Unlike Wieters, Mesoraco never put together a consistent string of success. In many ways, his career has been a failure.

One thing Mesoraco hasn’t had the chance to do for some time is play baseball games with much meaning. The Reds have been bad for the bulk of his career. Although this isn’t the time to say much positive about the Mets, they are in contention. There’s no arguing who the biggest winner in the Mesoraco for Harvey swap was. It’s clearly Mesoraco, who for the first time in years, has a chance at playing baseball in October.

The fact that Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier vouched for Mesoraco is a good thing.

He’s a baseball veteran who despite not playing much in the last few years got to see the game up close. If his heart is in the right place, I expect Mesoraco to help the Mets better than the other guys we’ve seen wear the catcher’s mask this year.

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Mesoraco is not the answer, but he’s undoubtedly someone the Mets needed to take a chance on.

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