The New York Mets traded 2012 Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays in the offseason. The Mets received a group of players in return including two catchers: John Buck and Travis d’Arnaud.
Buck, who was traded to the Blue Jays by the Miami Marlins this offseason, is 32-years old, and has .235-career batting average. Once a prospect in the Houston Astros’ system, Buck was groomed to take over Brad Ausmus’ catching duties before being traded to the Kansas City Royals in 2004. As a thrown-in part of the Dickey deal because of his $6 million contract, Buck could have at least one solid year left in him and works as a stopgap until the team is ready to bring up d’Arnaud. But how long will that be?
Travis d’Arnaud was the centerpiece of the aforementioned trade with Toronto. He has a chance to make the Opening Day roster, but do not expect the Mets to rush him into the major leagues. D’Arnaud could become starter by the end of the season, but either way, John Buck will get plenty of playing time behind the plate. Buck’s contract is too high to just be a back up, however, it could be worth it if he can mentor the young prospect on his way up.
D’Arnaud hit .333 in 67 games for Class AAA Las Vegas last season and is poised to be a star in New York. If he does not make the initial roster, his promotion to the major leagues could be a leading storyline if Buck or the Mets struggle this season.