The High Cost Of Catching
Joel Sherman of the New York Post says that while the Mets and Red Sox had not engaged in discussions about catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, he ponders whether the two would match up for a deal now that they have signed free agent catcher David Ross.
It’s not a bad idea, but Ken Rosenthal reports that the Red Sox do not view Ross as an everyday catcher and would most likely serve as Saltalamacchia’s backup.
In 121 games for the Red Sox in 2012, Saltalamacchia batted just .221 last season, but he did connect for 25 home runs and posted an impressive .454 slugging last season in 448 plate appearances. The 27 year old backstop is arbitration eligible again after signing a $2.5 million contract in his first year of arbitration eligibility last year.
Ross, on the other hand, illustrates a point I made in a previous post this morning about the premium being placed on catchers because there are so few to go around. The former Braves catcher signed a two year, $6.2 million dollar deal to serve in a mostly backup role as he did with Atlanta last season. Ross has not had more than 200 plate appearances since the 2007 season.
This morning I wrote:
I keep hearing many Mets fans mentioning the name of Blue Jays elite catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud as a potential target for the team. But they have as much inclination to trade their top prospect as we do Zack Wheeler, so unless we’re talking a swap of top prospects, it is unrealistic to view him as someone the Mets could potentially go after.
Any team that has a solid catcher that they are willing to trade, fully understand the scarcity of quality at that position and would demand a premium in return, and rightfully so. We would do the same in their position.
Today’s events clearly show why the Mets decided to re-sign Mike Nickeas, and why Sandy Alderson said that Josh Thole will be back next season as well. There’s a high cost to be paid for catching whether it’s in dollars for a free agent, or high end prospects or top major leaguers in a trade.
About the Author: Rob Johnson
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