MMO Mailbag: Does Dickey’s Return Ensure That Thole Will Be Back?

Anonymous asks…

I think that if the Mets sign R.A. Dickey to that extension, they are almost certain to bring back Josh Thole as his personal catcher. True or false?

Sean replies…

As good of a rapport as Dickey and Thole have developed, their fates are not as linked as one would imagine. Thole is just inexpensive and fits into the Mets plans as a cost-effective backstop who will be arbitration eligible and is expected to receive a contract for below one million dollars. It makes Thole a perfect candidate for a platoon with a partner who could bring some power. There’s also the hope that Thole can return to his 2011 offensive output.

Thole does have some value as R.A. Dickey’s catcher, since he has the most experience catching the knuckleball, but he is no gold-glover behind the plate regardless of who he is catching. Barring a trade, Josh Thole will be with the Mets next season in some capacity, and with the farm system devoid of any better major league ready options behind the plate, he might still be around in 2014 if the price is right.

As a side note – Tim Wakefield had Doug Mirabelli as his personal catcher because despite his tremendous offensive potential, Jason Varitek was never a strong catcher on the defensive side of the ball. ‘Tek was more valued for his offensive ability out of the catcher spot and his leadership qualities.