The New York Mets stayed silent at the MLB trade deadline, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t make a waiver trade in August. Of all the players the Mets could have traded before the deadline, the player most likely to pass through waivers and be traded in August is catcher John Buck.
Buck is one of the Mets’ highest paid players this season (at least among active players), meaning he’s likely to pass through waivers without being claimed. He would also make a great addition to a contending team for the final months of the regular season.
Buck got off to a tremendous start to the season, carrying the Mets throughout the month of April. However, he slowed down considerably in May and June as he began to tire from playing nearly every day for the Mets. But with a little extra rest, he has recaptured his swing, hitting .268/.350/380 in July.
For the season, Buck is third on the Mets in home runs and second in RBIs. He is also a veteran catcher with a lot of experience calling games and handling a pitching staff, which would make him a valuable piece to a contending team, especially for a team with a young pitching staff.
As for the Mets, they could consider bringing Buck back next season. That said, both he and the Mets know that he would likely be a backup if that happens as the team hopes to have top prospect Travis d’Arnaud in place as the everyday catcher by the start of next season. Of course, d’Arnaud is also the reason why the Mets can afford to trade Buck at some point during the month of August.
After suffering an injury early in the season, d’Arnaud is back playing in minor league games; and while the Mets would prefer to wait until September to bring him up, he could be ready for his MLB debut within the next two weeks, at which point Buck would be expendable.
The Mets may also want to get more playing time for backup catcher Anthony Recker or prospect Francisco Pena in September, which could make Buck even more expendable.
Unless the Mets are certain that they want to re-sign Buck for next season, they should consider trading him at some point during the month of August. They can save some money, add another mid-level prospect to their farm system and free up playing time for their younger catchers — all of which outweigh the benefits og keeping Buck until the end of the season.