Buck had a hot April, but really fell off a cliff after that, batting .222/.288/.365 overall between the Mets and the Pirates. The veteran catcher hit 15 home runs and drove in 62, but posted a wOBA of .285 and a 87 wRC+. Buck was immediately replaced when the Mets called up top prospect Travis d’Arnaud while he was on paternity leave.
For the time being, the Mets have not made getting a backup catcher a top priority, and Mets brass seem to be happy with Anthony Recker backing up TDA if that’s what it comes down to.
“Ultimately if we have to go with Recker and d’Arnaud, we’re happy with that,” Alderson said before the Winter Meetings. “It would be nice to have somebody else available to us. [Rookie Juan] Centeno is the only other guy that we have under contract at the Triple-A level, so we’d like to have somebody else. But it’s not a high priority.”
Recker has shown some power potential, but the 30-year old catcher has a .194 batting average and .629 OPS in parts of three seasons.
Juan Centeno, 24, will also be considered for the backup job. His elite defense and his contact skills at the plate are well established. He has no power, but gets good wood on the ball, batting .305/.346/.371 in 67 games for Triple-A Las Vegas last season. He has a gun for an arm.