Mets Monday Morning GM: A need at catcher, a shortstop decision
By Tim Boyle
The New York Mets have a big hole at the catcher spot and a decision to make at shortstop.
For some New York Mets fans, the season has taken a backseat this week. The NFL season has started up again and with it comes plenty of Monday Morning Quarterbacking. You’ve probably heard the term. It’s the same as Captain Hindsight from South Park where someone might state the obvious when they have the benefit of, well, hindsight.
As fans, we have plenty of opportunities to question what players did or didn’t do and also play general manager whenever we choose. On Monday mornings, I’d like to do the latter and sit in Brodie Van Wagenen’s chair.
It doesn’t take a baseball savant to know the Mets have two big gaping holes in their lineup most days. At catcher, there’s Wilson Ramos whose bat has gone about as silent as his defense this season. Over at shortstop, the club has Amed Rosario looking to finally breakout for good.
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Both Ramos and Rosario have had what everyone would consider “down years.” Neither has done a whole lot of what they were known to do well.
Ramos has been the least consistent hitter of anyone on the Mets this year. The fact that we’ve done nothing but dream of J.T. Realmuto this year says a lot about his performance.
When he was originally signed, it looked like a team-friendly deal worth making. The club was coming off years of seeing Travis d’Arnaud paired with other men behind the plate. The Buffalo was supposed to change all of that.
In 2019, Ramos did have a good year at the plate thanks in large part to a late summer hitting streak. None of his success in year one with the Mets has carried over. Thank goodness the third year on his deal is a team option they can refuse.
Rosario has had an equally disappointing year. Well-known for his speed, he has yet to steal a base all year long. He has been caught twice including a pickoff to end Saturday’s game versus the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Mets are in much different shape when it comes to this position. While they have no one within the organization ready to carry the club at the catcher position, it seems as if Andres Gimenez may already be prepared to grab the reigns from Rosario in 2021.
Playing Mets GM
The club has two make sure these two positions aren’t such busts in 2021. For the catcher spot, this means finding a guy who can at least handle the pitchers. The fact that Ramos isn’t held in high regard by their starting staff says a lot about his work behind the plate.
Even if the team doesn’t end up reeling in Realmuto, they need a general back there that the pitchers can trust. This is the second biggest priority after landing a major starting pitcher.
Between second and third base, the Mets don’t have to rush to do anything drastic. Rosario should get dangled on the trade block this winter and see how big of a bite teams are willing to make. Because of his age, affordable salary, and potential there could be a team out there that is willing to give the Mets a player to help fill one of their needs.
In a best-case scenario, I think the Mets could use Rosario as the headliner in a deal for a number two veteran starter making good but not ridiculous money. This frees them up to overpay Realmuto to then solve their catching situation.
Ramos will have a tough time finding regular playing time in 2021—wherever it is he may land. Rosario still has a long MLB future ahead of him. But if he stays with the Mets, there’s going to be competition. Gimenez and Luis Guillorme have outplayed him this year. On the horizon, he has number one prospect, Ronny Mauricio, to deal with, too.
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Having this many options at shortstop is a luxury the Mets can afford to toy with. Before making any major move with Rosario, though, they need to be sure whatever they can get back from him is the right fit.