One of the biggest upgrades the New York Mets need this offseason will be behind the plate. Who should they prioritize?
The New York Mets began the 2018 season as the hottest team in baseball. The fantasy did not last long: they finished as one of the worst. They have a lot of issues that must be addressed during this off-season.
The first and one of the most important is the catching situation: the Mets claimed the third-least amount of production in the National League by fWAR from the catching position.
Travis d’Arnaud, who was supposed to be the Mets’ starting catcher, tore his UCL and underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery in April.D’Arnaud’s time with the Mets has been nothing short of unremarkable: in 1469 PA with the Mets, he has slashed .245/.306/.406. It has also been plagued with injuries and defensively, he is a below-average catcher at throwing out base runners.
Then there’s Kevin Plawecki who has proven that he may not be capable of being anything more than a good backup catcher. In 277 PA in 79 games he hit .210/.315/.370 with an above-average groundball rate at 47.7%. Defensively, according to Baseball Prospectus, Plawecki was rated -2.1 in Fielding Runs Above Average in 2018, putting him 90th out of 117 qualifying catchers.
Tomas Nido’s two brief stints in the majors this season were uneventful, both offensively and defensively, and it would be irrational for anyone to think he can be the future of the Mets behind the plate.
Finally, there’s Devin Mesoraco whose career with the Mets started off hot but his numbers, particularly his OPS, would decline dramatically after May. He is now a free agent. It has become quite clear that the Mets have a glaring problem behind the plate. So what should they do?
In both free agency and via trade, there are three catchers who stand above the rest. Ranked in order of how badly the Mets need them, this trio of backstops should be at the top of the priority list.