There isn’t a New York Mets fan around that does not know the pressing needs that their team needs to address this offseason. The most detrimental are of course the outfield and the catcher positions. You might say that at the very least, if GM Sandy Alderson and the Wilpons do not find a way to upgrade in those spots, 2013 will be every bit as depressing as the second half of 2012.
The problem lies in the sad fact that there are many catchers available in the free agent market, but none of them are either in the Mets low-income price range, or are just not worth the risk when compared to what they already have. For about $2m, the Mets can keep Kelly Shoppach who seems to like being in New York and can handle the pressure of what this city will throw at him.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Shoppach is not an all-star catcher by any means. But he will do just enough in order for the Mets to concentrate on other areas in order to help this team. Shoppach will be 33 in 2013 and going into his 10th MLB season. In 28 games for the Mets, Shoppach hit .276, 2 doubles, 3HRs and 10RBIs. A more striking stat is that, for the year, with bases loaded, he hit .400 and with two out and runners in scoring position, Shoppach batted a healthy .471.
If you look at his complete 2012 stats between the Boston Red Sox and the Mets, Shoppach batted .233 with 8HRs, 27RBIs and a .309OBP. I’m not saying that Shoppach will be a long term fit for the Mets, but if you can keep him cheap and give him more starts, he might be more comfortable and produce at a better clip. The options out there are so limited because of the Mets inability to pay for a better catcher.
We have learned through 2012 that Josh Thole is not the answer, but Shoppach might be able to give the Mets a decent option until 2014 or 2015 when they can spend more wisely. It will be interesting to see what Alderson and his crew of super executives can finagle, but I do believe Shoppach would be the best short term option.
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