Amidst the signing that kept Yoenis Cespedes in Queens for four more years and the trade that sent Logan Verrett to Baltimore, General Manager, Sandy Alderson reiterated the team’s stance on their catching circumstance.
The Mets GM advised that the team will not be pursuing an “external upgrade at catcher” as per Matt Ehalt of NJ.com.
With Rene Rivera reportedly being a non-tender candidate, that leaves the Metropolitans with just two viable options at backstop. Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki will yet again have every opportunity to prove they belong behind the dish for the New York Mets.
The Mets incumbent starting catcher, d’Arnaud has been unable to prove that he deserves to be starting due to a lack of production and a constant struggle with the injury bug. Travis is coming off of two injury plagued seasons that have shown a drop off in his offensive prowess while also struggling defensively behind the plate.
In 2016, d’Arnaud’s toughest season yet, he hit to a .247/.307/.323 batting line with just four homers and 15 RBI. Defensively, baserunners had begun to run at-will on d’Arnaud, further complicating his ability to be the team’s starting catcher.
Plawecki, a once thought of top catching prospect that would ultimately battle d’Arnaud for the starting spot has yet to capitalize on any opportunity presented to him. He has shown an inabiliy to consistently hit at the Major League level thus far.
Since his debut in 2015, he has played in just 121 games and has a combined .211/.287/.285 batting line with just four homers and 32 RBI in 365 at-bats. A strong spring training could possibly tip the scales in his favor as the team may be willing to do something different entering the 2017 season.
All that said, with the team lacking an identity at the catching position and with some good chips to possibly trade in their glut of outfielders, it seems worth exploring any potential deal that may be out there. The Mets need a steady catcher behind the plate and neither d’Arnaud nor Plawecki have proven that they have the ability to be that stabilizing force just yet.
With the Winter Meetings getting ready to start this coming Sunday, December 4, it will be interesting to see if Alderson had something up his sleeve this whole time or if the team will truly go into spring training without any other backstops.