Did you happen to read the report on MetsBlog that the Mets are still looking for a veteran backup and that John Buck and Ramon Hernandez are options for them? Do you think that deep down inside they don’t believe in Travis d’Arnaud anymore and have lost faith in him?
Joe D. replies…
Absolutely not. The front office is still very high on d’Arnaud (as they should be) and are anxious to see him as their everyday catcher in 2014. Like us, they hope that the TDA we saw in 2013 was simply a player who was worn down and fighting the rust of two years of limited playing time. D’Arnaud should be fine next season and I’d expect to see him come bursting out of the gate with a hot start. I don’t like to project numbers, but I’d say 20 home runs and 65 RBI are not out of the question.
As to your first question, I hadn’t seen that report, but I’ll assume it’s legit. From what I’ve been hearing, the Mets are not looking for a backup catcher at this time. While they did say it would be a priority as far back as September, they have since backed off that stance.
Sandy Alderson told reporters just last week that a backup catcher was “not a high priority.” Given the Mets’ limited resources – they have a bout $22 million left to spend – the Mets have enough problems trying to find a starting pitcher, a reliever, and most importantly a bonafide cleanup hitter, before they’d even entertain a backup catcher.
“First of all, we like Anthony Recker as a backup,” Alderson said. “So the backup veteran backup catcher is not really a high priority for us. I mean, it’s nice to have, but we’ve got some other need-to-have holes to fill.”
“Ultimately if we have to go with Recker and d’Arnaud, we’re happy with that,” Alderson said.