Mets: Three positions they could go the cheap route with this winter

NEW YORK - APRIL 13: A flag flies over Citi Field before opening day on April 13, 2009 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. This is the first regular season MLB game being played at the new venue which replaced Shea stadium as the Mets home field. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - APRIL 13: A flag flies over Citi Field before opening day on April 13, 2009 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. This is the first regular season MLB game being played at the new venue which replaced Shea stadium as the Mets home field. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images) /
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JULY 26: Tomas Nido #3 of the New York Mets in action against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field on July 26, 2020 in New York City. The 2020 season had been postponed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Braves defeated the Mets 14-1. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

The New York Mets don’t need to spend an arm and a leg for additions at these three positions.

The words “cheap” and New York Mets have gone together all too well over the last few years. We can blame the Wilpons for this. Sometimes referred to as the Coupons because of their bargain-hunting tendencies, things should soon change once Steve Cohen takes over as the club’s owner.

However, as I cautioned in a previous post, Cohen isn’t going to just buy up every top free agent there is. There are restrictions in place and a whole lot of other very rich men out there who care about winning, too.

The Mets will inevitably have to go the cheap route at some positions. Three often talked about spots on the field look like the most likely candidates. Fortunately, there’s a way for them to save a few dollars and still get production at the spot.

Why the Mets can get away with a cheap catcher

We all want to see J.T. Realmuto on the Mets next year. We’ll sacrifice in a few other departments to make it happen. Ultimately, it’s up to Realmuto to want to play for the Mets. Not every athlete wants to play in New York and unless he’s just chasing dollars, there are other factors at play.

The Mets can go the cheaper route behind the plate. Among the three positions I’m going to discuss, this one I mind the least.

I classify a cheap catcher as anyone making less than $5 million per year. Anything above that, you probably have an All-Star appearance under your belt.

The Mets already have some internal options to fill this description. Tomas Nido and Ali Sanchez are the two backstops making baseball pennies that we could see pair up and handle the dish in 2021.

It’s not fancy, exciting, or probably even effective. What’s so good about it?

The strategy here, aside from saving some money, is to have a defense-first catcher on the team. Nido has worked well with the pitching staff. If capable of even hitting just .230, it may need to be a sacrifice the team makes.

Free agency and trades will offer the Mets will some upgrades over Nido as well. The point is the Mets don’t need to spend a whole lot of money on the catcher spot. As long as those savings roll over onto other free agents, having a guy who can steal a few strikes with his glove might be best for this team.

Enough with Wilson Ramos. Let’s get someone the pitchers enjoy throwing to.