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Mets: Wilson Ramos may determine who his backup catcher is

PORT ST. LUCIE, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 21: Wilson Ramos #40 of the New York Mets poses for a photo on Photo Day at First Data Field on February 21, 2019 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
PORT ST. LUCIE, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 21: Wilson Ramos #40 of the New York Mets poses for a photo on Photo Day at First Data Field on February 21, 2019 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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How New York Mets catcher Wilson Ramos performs with Jacob deGrom and others on the mound this spring could determine who his backup catcher is.

One of the Spring Training battles I’m looking forward to watching unfold at New York Mets camp is the fight for the backup catcher job. It’s not a luxurious one by any means. However, the Mets have a pair of experienced veterans hoping to win the job.

Longtime Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud is in the final year of his contract and coming off of Tommy John Surgery. At war with him, we have Devin Mesoraco who rejoined the ball club this winter on a minor league deal.

While it is possible we see the Mets carry three catchers, it’s unlikely. The unquestioned starter, Wilson Ramos, should help decide what the team does with this trio. He can’t verbally help come to a decision, but his play this spring could help lead the team in one direction.

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A big reason why they brought Mesoraco back is because of how well he worked with Jacob deGrom last year. Mesoraco became deGrom’s unofficial personal catcher with a few extra starts each week.

This doesn’t bode well for d’Arnaud whose reputation has never included a good game behind the dish. Despite catching some really good rotations over the years, he rarely receives rave reviews for his catching work.

How Ramos does with deGrom and the rest of the staff could lead the Amazins to choose one catcher over the other. I wrote before how they can still escape d’Arnaud’s contract this spring if they cut him prior to Opening Day. There’s a nominal fee to pay, but it may be worth it to have a better option behind the plate.

I don’t particularly like the idea of a team carrying three catchers on their roster unless one of them can play multiple positions. There has been talk about d’Arnaud becoming more of a utility man, but I don’t see how he’d fit in that role either. The team has better options offensively and defensively I would rather see take over the proposed role.

If Ramos is able to catch deGrom well this spring, I imagine the Mets have a greater reason to send Mesoraco to Triple-A to begin the year. If they can’t get a rhythm going, maybe we see Mesoraco stick around.

Thus far, the new backstop has received positive reviews.

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We know this isn’t an organization that enjoys paying players to go away. Even at a fraction of his salary, it’s hard to envision them actually parting ways with d’Arnaud. He could end up as a trade chip. Until then, expect a nice mix of catchers behind the plate for the Mets down in Florida.

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