Overreaction 3: “The Mets need to trade for a catcher”
Now, the Mets have had a catcher issue for much of the season, primarily exposed by James McCann’s injuries, especially on offense. The Mets’ catchers have the lowest offensive rating by Fangraphs (-23.5), the lowest walk rate (4.4 percent), and fewest home runs (3) of any group of catchers in the majors, which is a fair point.
However, the key to the Mets’ championship hopes is their run prevention strategies working, and it involves their catchers playing a role in pitch framing, communicating with pitchers about pitch calling, and making plays (offensively and defensively) when it matters. The Mets have a +13.3 defensive rating by Fangraphs, which ranks fourth in the majors.
Many of the contributions of Tomas Nido’s have come in big spots, whether it is throwing runners out on the bases and driving in runs with the plate late in games. Nido ranks second behind Jeff McNeil in batting average with runners in scoring position (.304).
The Mets can live with subpar offensive production from Tomas Nido and Patrick Mazeika if it means they remain valuable assets on defense and the rest of the lineup continues to hit like it did in the first half, and can hold the fort while James McCann nurses his latest injury.
Now, going forward, it appears as if James McCann is going to miss some time, but not the whole season, and the Mets can always call up Francisco Alvarez to the roster if it means getting another bat in their lineup for the postseason.
So after the Mets gave up a top prospect in Pete Crow-Armstrong for two months of Javier Baez, is it worth giving up a top prospect for two months of Willson Contreras with the catchers that the Mets have now? Might not be worth it, given Steve Cohen’s push to replenish a farm system the Wilpons left in shambles.