Mets should spend money on a catcher instead of trading for one
By Michael Carballeira
Rather than trade for a catcher, the New York Mets should spend money on a free agent backstop this winter.
After a disappointing 2018 season, the New York Mets are already looking into what moves need to be made for next year. A huge dark hole on this team is the catcher position and the Mets could and should make a move for one in free agency.
I know this sounds crazy because the organization isn’t known to really spend money the right way but this year’s free agent class is one of the best we have seen. The Mets could make a splash at multiple positions in free agency but the catchers’ position needs to be addressed immediately.
This year’s free agent class includes catchers such as Yasmani Grandal and Wilson Ramos. These are two legit players that are way better than what the Mets currently have going on behind the plate.
Grandal, currently the Dodgers starting catcher, is an option for the Mets. His average may not be great but he is a player that you can put in the lineup and will work a count. His on-base percentage this season was a .349 and he finished with 24 home runs and 68 RBI. He had an All-Star season back in 2015 where who threw out just under thirty percent on runners that ran on him.
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His career caught stealing percentage is twenty-six percent but he increased immensely in runners he threw out. Grandal threw out just eight runners in the 2013 and 2014 season combined and he pushed that up to about twenty-five runners a season. Both instances had around forty-five to fifty players attempting a steal so you can see the improvement in that.
Ramos, on the other hand, is coming off a season with a .305 batting average after starting the season in Tampa Bay until he was traded to Philadelphia later in the year. Ramos has fifteen home runs to go along with seventy RBI’s with the two clubs which was almost identical to Grandal’s numbers beside the batting average.
Coming off an All-Star year this season, Ramos had a caught stealing percentage of twenty-nine percent. It wasn’t too long ago though that his percentage was in the mid-forties for that very same category. Ramos would be a perfect fit for the Mets as adding him not only just covers the hole at the position but also gives you a potential three hundred hitter in the lineup.
Now a catcher who is on the trade block is J.T. Realmuto of the Miami Marlins. Now Realmuto could be the best of the three but the asking price for him is very high which is why the Mets backed out of any trade talks with the Marlins early in the season.
You never know what the team would have to give up in a potential trade for Realmuto weather its young players as Amed Rosario or Jeff McNeil or a top young prospect in Peter Alonso. It would make sense to not touch players like these as they definitely have the potential to be part of this rebuild for the Mets.
Both Rosario and McNeil shined in the second half of the season and enough that they proved to get a full chance next season. Alonso has been killing in the minors and is the Mets most anticipated player in the farm system right now where he can fill the void at first base.
Both Ramos and Grandal are good enough to be put behind the plate for the Mets and it might be worth the sacrifice of Realmuto if it means keeping the youngsters on the team as well.
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Whatever it is it should be known that who the Mets need to be the starting catcher on Opening Day is not currently on the team.