Mets Monday Morning GM: Stupid money still owed to catchers not named Francisco Alvarez

Francisco Alvarez is the Mets starting catcher and yet he's fourth on the payroll at the position in terms of salary. He remains the hope to end the madness.
Pittsburgh Pirates v New York Mets
Pittsburgh Pirates v New York Mets / Adam Hunger/GettyImages

The New York Mets payroll is a highly-discussed topic. The stupidest part of it isn’t the Bobby Bonilla deal. It’s how much money the team continues to pay catchers not named Francisco Alvarez. The young backstop is taking home $762,500 this year, a welcomed amount for people of any industry. On the Mets, it’s the fourth-lowest of any catcher on the team.

The recently DFA’d Omar Narvaez has a salary of $7 million this year which added to the $8 million owed to James McCann brings us to $15 million which is what you’d pay a pretty good catcher. The Mets also have Tomas Nido on a deal worth $2.1 million, pushing Alvarez into fourth place on the payroll.

All combined, it’s $17,862,500 the Mets are paying four catchers. One is long gone. Another is on the way out. A third is a backup. Alvarez’s salary comes out to only about 4.2% of the total amount the Mets are paying these four catchers.

Francisco Alvarez remains the big Mets hope to end the revolving door at the catcher spot

Mets fans have been excited about Alvarez for a few years. Built like he could play tight end in the NFL, he has an attitude to match. Alvarez has fun with baseball but his hard work to improve defensively and learn English provides us with a glance into how seriously he takes his job. There is a lot mentioned about leadership on the Mets roster. While far from one based on age and experience, he’s well on his way to becoming a future locker room leader.

This hasn’t been the case for a long time. Not since Paul Lo Duca have the Mets had a steady presence at the position. More than a decade has passed since he last suited up for the Mets. Ever since it has been a mix of young players the team lost patience with (Travis d’Arnaud) or veterans who’ve come and gone, sometimes before their contracts were even over with.

One constant theme of the Mets has been trying to find a catcher who isn’t a complete zero offensively. From Wilson Ramos to James McCann to Omar Narvaez, every year from 2019-onward has included the employment of at least one of these guys. Right in the middle of this stretch, the Mets had a chance to snag J.T. Realmuto away from the Philadelphia Phillies. We all know how that went.

But that’s not an absolute loss for the Mets who have their own budding superstar—or so we hope. Talks of a possible extension with Alvarez this past offseason died quickly and for good reason. The Mets are making up for past mistakes at the catcher spot. They’re trying to spend more responsibly. All of the stupid money comes off the books this offseason. McCann’s royalties, the unnecessary player option owed to Narvaez, and even the strangely unnecessary Nido extension are all over with.

Don’t expect the Mets to rush to hand all of it to Alvarez. That day will come. Alvarez is arbitration eligible beginning in 2026. They grow up so fast.