Proposed Mets catcher Band-Aid in free agency isn't enough to get excited about

This move probably wouldn't have us feeling any better.
2024 Chicago Cubs Spring Training
2024 Chicago Cubs Spring Training / Matt Dirksen/GettyImages

Patrick McAvoy of Sports Illustrated has an idea to end some New York Mets agony. Rather than dump Omar Narvaez or Tomas Nido behind the plate nightly, he’s willing to take a chance on finding someone of more substance to replace the injured Francisco Alvarez.

This was the kind of injury the Mets would have a tough time getting over, at least from an offensive standpoint. Narvaez would be able to hit better than he has. Nido is simply a weak MLB hitter whom you’re lucky to see draw a walk.

McAvoy’s proposition has the Mets going out and signing free agent Jorge Alfaro. A name Mets fans will remember from his time with the Philadelphia Phillies and Miami Marlins, he doesn’t exactly jump out as much of an upgrade.

Can Jorge Alfaro provide the Mets with the offensive boost they’re missing at the catcher spot right now?

We’ve been here before. It kind of feels like Gary Sanchez in 2023 all over again. Alfaro has had some good offensive seasons in the past. He hammered 18 home runs as the starting catcher for the Marlins in 2019. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to finish any MLB season since with double-digit home runs or a batting average over .250.

Alfaro barely played in the majors last season, logging just 18 games with the Colorado Rockies and Boston Red Sox. The result was a .146/.212/.292 batting line. Defensively, Alfaro has been able to throw out runners which helps solve one issue for the Mets. His upside at the plate is arguably better than anything Nido can do.

Recent sample sizes don’t tell us much about what Alfaro can do behind the plate. If we go back to 2022 when he last played regularly, he was by no means a standout in terms of things like pitch framing. And even if he was, Narvaez and Nido were among the best in catcher framing runs that same year.

Alfaro showed he can still hit in some capacity. Beyond his limited time in the big leagues, he had 64 games down in Triple-A. He hit 7 homers and batted .291/.342/.457.

Where Alfaro could be most useful is against left-handed pitchers in some sort of a platoon alongside Narvaez. Unfortunately, he’s not going anywhere quite yet. Alfaro has been a better hitter against them for his career, slashing .263/.304/.738. Last year he was 5 for 16 against southpaws so perhaps there is a reason to look into him. The problem: he’d still be the lesser half of the platoon. Alfaro was just 2 for 32 versus right-handed pitchers last year with 11 strikeouts.

Whatever the Mets do, it’ll be a Band-Aid on a bruise—kind of unnecessary but at least you’re doing something.