Mets Offseason Targets: C Jason Jaramillo

An article by posted on December 16, 2011

Another player I believe would be an interesting pickup for the Mets is the recently non-tendered catcher Jason Jaramillo, formerly of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Jaramillo, 29, has been hampered by injuries in the past and the rigors of being an everyday catcher are seemingly too much for him to handle. But he may prove to be a very capable backup for the Mets.

As you can see, Jaramillo put up some good numbers last season for the Bucs, batting a robust .326 with a .751 OPS and a 109 OPS+ in 23 games last season. Very small sample size yes, but even his manager last season, Clint Hurdle, was digging his more aggressive approach at the plate.

Jaramillo worked with Pirates hitting coach Gregg Ritchie prior to the start of last season and the results were far better than anyone expected, and Jaramillo even had a couple of big game winning hits for the Pirates last season in his role as backup catcher.

Defensively, there were no complaints and Jaramillo threw out 39% of base runners in the minors, which would be a significant improvement over the current cast at catcher for the Mets. Additionally, he is said to have a solid reputation with his pitchers who love his game-calling.

The switch-hitting catcher became expendable once the Pirates signed former Met Rod Barajas this offseason coupled with their decision to have prospect Michael McKenry back him up.

Obviously, Jaramillo would be a very inexpensive signing and should easily fit into the Mets budget, but more importantly he could provide some depth to a position that desperately needs some right now. If either Josh Thole or Mike Nickeas go down with an injury, the Mets would find themselves in some pretty dire straits. Going with Jaramillo to backup Thole, while keeping Nickeas on tap in Buffalo would make a lot of sense.

Thoughts?

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Lifelong Mets fan since 1972. I'm a Queens native who grew up in the shadows of Big Shea. I was a huge Craig Swan, Dave Magadan and John Olerud fan. Honored to be a part of such a great site for Mets fans. Ya Gotta Believe!

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