Mets could do something crazy like name Kevin Plawecki the Opening Day catcher
By Tim Boyle
Could the New York Mets really consider Kevin Plawecki as the 2019 Opening Day starter?
How do the New York Mets solve their catching woes? They could go out and spend some money on a free agent. Or they could pull off a magic trick and land an upgrade in a trade.
I tend to think they do neither. With the way this front office operates, I get the sense we could see Kevin Plawecki open 2019 as the starting catcher.
As of now, it looks like the Mets could once again put a 25-man roster together for 2019 which includes a platoon of Plawecki and Travis d’Arnaud. d’Arnaud is, of course, recovering from season-ending surgery which ended his season in early April. There’s a chance he’s not with the team on Opening Day 2019 either due to setbacks or failing to have a contract tendered to him.
I think most Mets followers will agree, d’Arnaud is worth letting go.
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This leaves few internal options. Devin Mesoraco is a free agent after 2018 so bringing him back is less likely although I would flirt with the idea of it. Then again, I’ve also flirted with less than stellar girls to help my friends with their friends. So, take my opinion for what it is.
Plawecki isn’t all bad. He played well in 2017 and has managed to get on base regularly in 2018. I find it difficult to judge him on this year due to his lengthy absence. It’s the plate patience which has me hopeful he’s more than a backup.
The biggest problem with naming Plawecki the starting catcher is that he won’t have a very good backup. This likely means Tomas Nido slots in behind him. Is he really ready to sit 20% of the time? How about he plays regularly in AAA next year and then we talk.
It’s obvious the Mets need to upgrade their offense in the offseason. The problem is, where can they do it?
The catcher and second base jobs are open. The second base market runs deep, but they may always feel tempted to go cheap and employ Jeff McNeil there. More likely, McNeil becomes a bench piece and a left-handed stick off the bench who can play multiple positions. This could mean spending big on a second baseman instead of a catcher.
Plawecki falls into the “half-way decent” category. He has a little upside, but does anyone really believe he can carry this team for a full season as the starting catcher?
Call me crazy; I envision a realistic scenario where we see Jacob deGrom on the mound in game one of 2019 with Plawecki behind the dish. He’ll be back there again for game number two and maybe an early off day to complete the first series.
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Whatever the Mets decide, I have little faith we see an All-Star catcher on this roster for many years.