Another All-Star Catcher from the Fish
Yet another important piece on the 2006 Mets, catcher Paul Lo Duca joined the team via trade with the Marlins. Only a few weeks after the Delgado deal, the Brooklyn-born Lo Duca headed home.
Unlike the other trades on this list, what the Mets gave up for his services was even less so. Dante Brinkley and Gaby Hernandez are the names of the two prospects the Mets sent to South Beach. Neither ever reached MLB.
What did Lo Duca give the Mets? Aside from filling the void after Piazza’s departure, he gave them an All-Star season in 2006 with a .318 batting average. He had another solid season in 2007 where he hit .272 and knocked in 54 runs.
Lo Duca was a different kind of catcher than what Mets fans had become accustomed to. After years of Piazza and Todd Hundley before him, the team had a receiver who was less interested in hitting home runs and more focused on hitting for average and playing good defense. Lo Duca had a positive defensive WAR in both years with New York, giving the franchise some steadiness behind the plate.
After Lo Duca left the team, the Mets went in a tailspin at the catcher’s position. In the decade-plus since he last suited up for the team, there hasn’t been a highly-regarded catcher. There were trade rumors about the Mets targeting former Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto in the winter of 2018-2019 prior to his trade to the Philadelphia Phillies. If the teams pulled the trigger on this deal, history may have repeated itself. The Mets would have once again robbed the Marlins in a trade.
Want your voice heard? Join the Rising Apple team!
Not much has changed with the Marlins in the years since these trades. Often selling their best players, it’s only a matter of time before the Mets win another deal with them.