The Mets have been linked to both J.T. Realmuto and James McCann, but could a trade for Willson Contreras be a fit?
The catching position in free agency is thin. After J.T. Realmuto and James McCann, the next best option would seemingly be 38 year old Yadier Molina. Again, the market is thin. So what about trading to upgrade the catcher position? There are a few more options if that is the case and a player like Willson Contreras could be a huge get for the Mets.
An All-Star in 2018 and 2019, the 28-year old had posted an OPS of .800 or more three times in five seasons since 2016. A right-handed bat with some pop, Contreras would be a nice addition to the lineup. The backstop has hit 20 homers twice, with a career-high 24 in 2019 in just 105 games.
While the Mets could use another right hander in their lineup, Contreras also would serve as a solid defensive catcher. Since coming into the league, he’s finished top 5 in the National League in throwing out runners three times, leading the NL outright in 2018 and 2020; his caught stealing percentage was fourth in the NL last year. While being able to throw out runners is a huge strength, Contreras also ranked 10th in all of baseball in catch framing metrics according to Statcast.
The Mets have been without a defensive presence behind the plate for a while and while the team is looking to add to their already top-tier offense, their defense is something that must be addressed this winter.
Contreras is slated to make $6.2M this year and then will enter his final year of arbitration in 2022 before becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2023. With two years of control left and Contreras providing both defense and power from the side, if the price was right, it’s worth exploring for the Mets.