There are plenty of examples former New York Mets players who have come back to haunt the organization. Justin Turner was non-tendered and became an all-star third baseman for the Dodgers. Daniel Murphy signed with the Nationals and went on to hit .413 against the Mets in 2016. Zack Wheeler signed with the Phillies and has been a Cy Young caliber starting pitcher. Travis d'Arnaud won a silver slugger award for the Braves in 2020, then won the World Series in 2021. Andres Gimenez won a Gold Glove for Cleveland in 2022. Heck, even J.D. Davis and Wilmer Flores have contributed well for the Giants.
The Mets have not done a good enough job in evaluating their own talent in the minor leagues. Though some trades have worked out OK such as Diaz and Lindor, the young prospects sent back have turned into quality baseball players. The question is, which ones of these players could have helped the Mets immediately in 2024?
1) Endy Rodriguez
Coming out of the Dominican Republic as an 18 year-old prospect, catcher Endy Rodriguez was signed by the Mets for just $10,000 in 2018. He had shown the ability to not only be a power hitting catcher, but has the athleticism to play both second base and the outfield. The switch-hitting catcher has been credited for his incredible offensive potential, plate discipline, and arm strength all through the minor leagues. After Rodriguez just barely got his feet wet in the minor leagues, the Mets traded him in a 3-team deal in 2021 that sent Rodriguez to the Pirates and brought pitcher Joey Lucchesi back from the Padres.
After being ranked a top 50 prospect in all of baseball coming into the season, the Pirates promoted Rodriguez in July. He struggled in his rookie season, batting just .220 in 57 games, but this sample size should not be an indicator of his entire career. Just remember, Aaron Judge hit .179 in his rookie season.
Rodriguez could have been a great asset for the 2024 Mets. For starters, we as fans would never have to see Omar Narvaez suit up in a Mets uniform again. Beyond Narvaez, the tandem of Alvarez and Rodriguez could have rivaled other offensive minded catching duos such as the tandem of Murphy and d'Arnaud in Atlanta. Not many teams have two catchers with all-star potential. Furthermore, this would give Alvarez more chances to DH knowing the backup catcher will not affect the lineup negatively.