MMO Fan Shot: Two Solutions to the Mets Catching Problems

An article by posted on August 17, 2012

One of the major weaknesses of the New York Mets is the catching position.  Starter Josh Thole has produced nothing offensively and is poor defensively.  Backups Mike Nickeas and Rob Johnson struggle just to hit over the Mendoza line. Newly acquired catcher Kelly Shoppach isn’t awful, but we would be kidding ourselves to think that he is a long term solution at catcher. And to make matters worse, there are no catching prospects in the minors that are even close to being major league ready.

So, what can the Mets do to solve their catching problems? I have two ideas.  One is impending free agent Mike Napoli.  He would instantly turn the Mets dreadful catching situation into a strength. Napoli is arguably the best power hitting catcher in the game. He has the most home runs among all catchers since 2008. He’s hitting .223 with 17 HR and 40 RBI in 92 games. His numbers are down a little this year because he’s been playing through a quad injury.  But last year he was phenomenal, hitting .320 with 30 HR and 75 RBI in only 113 games.  Napoli will not only fill the Mets need behind the plate, but he will also address the Mets need for a good RH power bat  – Wright is the only RH power bat in the lineup, so adding Napoli would make the Mets lineup stronger and more balanced. He is also solid defensively. Ranger’s pitchers like Scott Feldman and Derek Holland have raved about his ability to call a great game and his good receiving skills.

Napoli won’t come cheap though, he will command a lot of money.  He’s said that he’s looking for a deal somewhere between Victor Martinez’s 4-year, $50 Million contract and Yadier Molina’s 5-year, $75 Million deal. But I feel he will be worth every penny since he will make one of the weakest points of the team into a strength and will give us another RH power bat that we desperately need.

My other idea to solve the Mets catching problems is J.P Arencibia from Toronto. He could be available because they have another catcher, Travis ‘dArnaud, who is their organization’s top prospect. Arencibia is 26 years old and is now currently in his 2nd year starting. Arencibia has rare power for a catcher, he has the potential to be a 30 HR hitter. In his rookie season he hit 23 HR and 78 RBI, and this year has 16 HR and 50 RBI in 81 games. His average is low, only .242 this year, but I can live with that if he he’s hitting 20-30 homers a year. He also struggled defensively in his rookie season, but has made a lot of improvements this season.   Blue Jays manager, John Farrell said the strides he has made defensively this year have been remarkable. His CS% percentage is one of the best in the league, and has twice been able to throw a runner out from his knees.

I’m not sure exactly how much Toronto would need to trade Arencibia, but I think we have enough ammo to get a deal done. We have a lot of pitching depth in the minors that we could trade (like  Familia, Tapia, etc.). Or we could trade some of the hitters we have on the major league team like Murphy or Valdespin. I’d hate to trade any of those guys, but Arencibia will fill one of our biggest needs, and it’s very rare to find a catcher with his kind of power potential.

This Fan Shot was submitted by MMO reader, Vinny B. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 12 thousand Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to GetMetsmerized@aol.com. Or ask about being a regular contributor, and share your opinions with an engaging community that loves to debate

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