According to several reports including Jon Heyman via Twitter, and the original story from Adam Rubin of the Daily News, free agent catcher Henry Blanco could become a member of the New York Mets as soon as today.
The Mets appeared to be closing in on a deal with free-agent catcher Henry Blanco. The Venezuelan newspaper “El Nacional” reported Blanco had left that country Sunday for a physical with the Mets.
Blanco, 38, hit .235 with six homers and 16 RBI in 204 at-bats with San Diego last season. He would presumably be the favorite over Omir Santos, Chris Coste and Josh Thole to open next season as the backup catcher.
I don’t know what this means for Omir Santos, but at this point it’s not looking good. The thing of it is, given the choice, I’d take Santos over Blanco 99 times out of 100.
First off Santos is ten years younger. Do we really need a 38-year old player on the team? Second, Santos has more power and performed quite well defensively last season.
Blanco is a career .228 hitter playing mostly his entire career in hitter friendly parks. Now, one year older and in decline, how well could he possibly translate playing in the vastness of Citi Field?
One good thing this signing might indicate, is that the Mets must be seriously considering prospect Josh Thole for a starting role at some point next season. The only benefit I see in bringing a catcher like Blanco on board, is to serve as a mentor for Thole who is still relatively new to the catching position. From that point of view, Blanco would be more valuable than Omir Santos.
However, some believe that this signing does not entirely mean the Mets are out of the Bengie Molina sweepstakes. What the Blanco signing also does is to give the Mets a little more leverage in potential negotiations with Molina.