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Mets catcher Devin Mesoraco threatens retirement over return to minors

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 21: Devin Mesoraco #29 of the New York Mets doubles against the Washington Nationals during the second inning at Nationals Park on September 21, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 21: Devin Mesoraco #29 of the New York Mets doubles against the Washington Nationals during the second inning at Nationals Park on September 21, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
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The New York Mets have decided Devin Mesoraco will not begin the year on the 25-man roster. In return, Mesoraco has asked for his release and threatened retirement if it doesn’t happen.

I’ve probably watched too many romantic movies, but when the New York Mets brought Devin Mesoraco back this offseason, it seemed like an old love had rekindled. Mesoraco became the unofficial personal catcher of Jacob deGrom in 2018. The reunion seemed to fit with the idea that he could continue this role in 2019 behind backstop Wilson Ramos.

Unfortunately, Cupid’s arrow flew astray. The Mets cut Mesoraco this weekend and have reassigned him to minor league camp. This means he could open the year at Triple-A with the re-branded Syracuse Mets. However, Mesoraco has stated he wants to be released. If he’s not released, he’s ready to retire.

In a way, I don’t blame Mesoraco. He’s only a few months younger than me and I despise riding buses. This is what his life would become between series in the International League while calling Syracuse home.

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On the other hand, I find it hard to believe he gets a major league gig elsewhere. The most notable injury this spring to a catcher, Salvador Perez of the Kansas City Royals, has already been solved with the team signing Martin Maldonado. Mesoraco’s chance to start there, or anywhere for that matter, where probably few and far between already.

Somewhere out there, a backup gig could exist. Mesoraco’s reputation built-up last season would highlight his resume as a potential personal catcher to a star pitcher. His offensive woes in every year except 2014, though, will likely prevent him from being much more.

If Mesoraco isn’t released and he does retire, he could always Brett Favre us all and return at some point. I’m not sure this is a wise move. The market for him is already a slim one. Sitting out won’t build it up.

So, what does Mesoraco do? Does he take his lump, take the assignment to Triple-A, and wait for a potential injury to Ramos or the primary expected backup, Travis d’Arnaud?

It’s petty if the Mets don’t release him. The man doesn’t want to play in the minors, bringing his tenure with the organization full circle. As you may recall, he was traded last spring to the Mets for Matt Harvey. Harvey also refused a minor league assignment thus leading to a deal with the Cincinnati Reds.

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Mesoraco could be a valuable depth piece for the Mets. With the threat of retirement there, I don’t see what the big league club can gain other than a few pride points. It’s a shame this relationship will end poorly.

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