MLB Rumors: 5 Catchers the Mets Could Go After
Who Will Be the Mets Next Catcher?
It’s no secret that the New York Mets need to make several changes if they want to have any shot of breaking this vicious cycle of second half collapses, and make a push at the playoffs next season.
By several changes I mean they need new outfielders, a new bullpen, a solid closer, a new catcher, a base stealer and a power bat in the lineup. You know, just some minor adjustments. So let’s break this down need by need starting with position #2.
The Mets need a catcher.
Mike Piazza will always be my be all and end all when it comes to this position, and while I fully admit that he was not the best defensively, he more than made up for that with his ability at the plate. The same cannot be said for any of the current Mets catchers.>
To me, Josh Thole is a bum. Though he didn’t have a terrible 2011 (.268 batting average/40 RBIs), his 2012 was downright awful. A .234 batting average, one home run, and only 21 RBIs is unacceptable no matter what spot in the lineup you’re in. And his 18 pass balls is probably what kills me the most. Thole refuses to use his body in any way shape or form if the ball doesn’t go directly to his glove.
Backup catcher, Mike Nickeas has not fared much better this season, as his average is a depressing .174. He has eight pass balls in only 45 games. What are they teaching these Mets catchers in the minor leagues?
For some reason I thought Kelly Shoppach was going to be a breath of fresh air, well it was more like exit 13A on the New Jersey Turnpike air.
So here are five free agent catchers that the Mets could go after this offseason.
Russell Martin is just coming off a ALCS sweep by the Detroit Tigers, and it was a rough postseaon for all the New York Yankees. But Martin is still a solid catcher. He didn't have a great average this past season at .211, which was his career low, but he still had 53 RBIs. He also had a career high 21 home runs this year, and the New York Mets could use as much pop in their bats as they can get.
Probably the best free agent available, Mike Napoli would bring much needed offense to the bottom of the lineup. Hitting .227 last season with 56 RBIs and 24 home runs, Napoli is definitely a threat as far as catchers are concerned. The only problem here would be the price tag; he made $9.4 million last season.
Although he's the oldest of this group at age 35, A.J. Pierzynski definitely still has game left in him. This past season he hit .278 with 77 RBIs and a career high 27 home runs. He played 135 games, so any doubts about his body still being in good form are put to rest. It would also be great to have more experience on the team to help out the younger players.
David Ross is another player who isn't considered a spring chicken, and has been primarily a backup throughout his career, but I still consider him an upgrade from the Mets current selections. He hit .256 with 23 RBIs and 9 home runs in 62 games last season. I'll take him for a full time or part time position.
Jeff Mathis averages playing about half a season so far in his career. Last season he hit .218 with 27 RBIs and 8 home runs. The perk to him is the price. Last season he made $1.5 million.