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Mets free agent catcher battle: Yasmani Grandal vs. Wilson Ramos

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 15: Yasmani Grandal #9 of the Los Angeles Dodgers looks on against the Milwaukee Brewers in Game Three of the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium on October 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 15: Yasmani Grandal #9 of the Los Angeles Dodgers looks on against the Milwaukee Brewers in Game Three of the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium on October 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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Finding a new catcher is a priority for the New York Mets this winter. The two free agents many want to see added are Yasmani Grandal and Wilson Ramos. Let’s compare the two.

The winter class of free agents offers the New York Mets an abundance of options at almost every position. Catcher is one of the major spots they need to explore and thankfully there are two guys who would be great fits.

Longtime Los Angeles Dodgers backstop Yasmani Grandal and the well-traveled Wilson Ramos are both in this pool. Each comes with benefits the other doesn’t have yet they share some of the similarities. Let’s have them hypothetically battle it out for the Mets catcher job in 2019.

In this corner, we have Grandal. He turns 30 in November and has a history of winning with the Dodgers. For three straight seasons, he has topped 20 home runs. During this same period, he has become known as one of the better defensive catchers in the game. Some of this reputation did wash away in the postseason with some horrendous games behind the plate. Nevertheless, he’s an upgrade over what the Mets have in-house.

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Grandal’s familiarity with the pitching staff in Los Angeles could translate well with the Mets if only because he knows how to work with top starters. It’s an assumption on my part.

Perhaps the biggest downside to Grandal aside from the cost is how little he hits for average. While he does draw walks, Grandal’s highest batting average in any season since becoming a regular is .247. Frequently, he hits well-below this number.

On the other side of the ring, Ramos is doing things differently. In two of the last three seasons, he has hit over .300. His power numbers are also decent for a catcher with 15 home runs in this most recent campaign.

Ramos has missed a lot of time over the past two seasons. A knee injury at the end of 2016 is to blame for the lack of games played in 2017.

Following his trade from the Tampa Bay Rays to the Philadelphia Phillies, Ramos began to hit more than ever. He slashed a tremendous .337/.396/.483 in his 101 plate appearances. The Mets could surely use a bat like this in their lineup.

At already 31-years-old, Ramos is the cheaper option on the open market. The age of a catcher certainly matters in contract negotiations. I have no doubt Grandal takes home more Benjamins.

Both catchers should have plenty of suitors. If the Mets are serious about upgrading, it’s probably best they lean heavily toward one than the other. Don’t wait for J.T. Realmuto to become available during a trade. Sign one of these two.

My personal preference has me leaning toward Ramos, bad knees and all. Invest the slight savings elsewhere and add a guy who seems to be getting better each year.

Next. Top five catchers in Mets history

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Which of these two backstops would you rather see on the Mets in 2019?

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