The New York Mets major concern going into the 2013 MLB season is undoubtedly the outfield and how to add a power bat to a lineup on the cheap. With that in mind, the Mets also feel the need to address the catcher’s position, due to a lack of production from Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas.
One way to do that would be to keep C Kelly Shoppach, who was a mid-season acquisition from the Boston red Sox. Now, they seem to be entertaining the idea of bringing in C Miguel Olivo from the Seattle Mariners, who have made clear that they will not pick up his $3M option for 2013. My issue with this is that Sandy Alderson would be would be going against the proverbial, “You know what you have, why mess with it,” mantra.
Olivo batted .222 with 12HRs, 29RBIs, 14 doubles, .239OBP, .381SLG and a .620OPS in 87 games for the Mariners in 2012. Compare that with Shoppach who batted .233 with 8HRs, 27RBIs, 14 doubles, .309OBP, .425SLG, .734OPS in 76 games and they already have a catcher that has one more bonus over Olivo- he has already become acclimated with New York and the pitching staff.
That to me is the biggest bonus of keeping Shoppach over bringing in any catcher with stats comparable to Shoppach’s. He already has shown the ability to play in New York and the money would be about the same for both. So why would the Mets be making a lateral move, instead of just concentrating on the real issue that needs to be addressed-the outfield? Because that is the Mets way and they like to make things more difficult than they actually have to be.
I hope the Mets as an organization understand that by looking at most catchers on the free agent market this year, none of them can be had for a cheap price where they will get more than what Shoppach has to offer. So Alderson and the Wilpons need to just stay with what they know, and use their resources in other areas.
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