Mets backup catcher options for the 2021 season already with the organization
By Tim Boyle
Mets backup catcher candidate: Robinson Chirinos
The relationship between the Mets and Robinson Chirinos began this season at the trade deadline when they went out and acquired him from the Texas Rangers. Although next year is his age 37 season, backup catchers can usually handle a load even as their 40th birthday approaches.
Chirinos has been a part-time catcher for most of his career. Not quite a backup, he has been more of a platoon player with plate appearances often in the 250-350 range. He has only reached 100 games played twice in his career. At his age, he’s not going to go out there expecting anything more than a platoon role at best.
The Mets do have some control of his future. His contract calls for $6.5 million in 2021 which is probably too steep for a backup role. They could always buy him out and then re-sign him. This is a little more palatable.
Throughout his big league career, Chirinos has been a low-average yet high-power producer. He has averaged more than 20 home runs per 162 games but it often comes with batting averages below .240. His personal-best is at only .255.
Chirinos could be a good guy to have around the clubhouse. During any time he may have alongside younger catchers, it’s possible he passes along some knowledge.
The one problem here is that he won’t get much time with a guy like Nido or anyone else outside of spring training. We’re all going to assume the Mets’ starting catcher in 2021 is J.T. Realmuto or James McCann—possibly a trade candidate if not one of them.
If the Mets go with Chirinos, it’s the end of Nido in New York. It’s not a bad decision but is it an upgrade to have a temporary backup catcher rather than a guy with more years in his future?