When the Mets acquired Travis d’Arnaud prior to the 2013 season, he was the then centerpiece of the deal that sent R.A. Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Unfortunately for d’Arnaud, his Mets career has been hampered by injuries, including this year where he was diagnosed with a torn UCL and had to undergo Tommy John surgery.
D’Arnaud can become a free agent in 2020, but after appearing in just four games this year and perhaps some time next season, you have to wonder, is it time for New York to non-tender the catcher?
Mesoraco, who was acquired midseason from the Cincinnati Reds for Matt Harvey, is a pending free agent and likely won’t make a return to Queens in 2019. The same can be said about Lobaton, who failed to show any positives at the dish and played a subpar defense.
Plawecki and Nido are under team control for the next several years, so they will be back, but is their production enough to warrant a tandem behind the plate?
The 27-year-old Plawecki has appeared in 75 games for the Mets this year, hitting .216/.325/.370 with six homers and 29 RBI. Nido has shown flashes at the dish of his potential though they have been infrequent, and has looked good behind the plate at times, but overall might not be more than a backup catcher at this point.
With the incumbents the Mets are likely to have in 2019, coupled with d’Arnaud’s oft injured history, New York might have to look outside the organization for catching help.
One appealing name is current Dodgers’ catcher Yasmani Grandal, who is set to become a free agent this winter.
Grandal, 30 next season, would give the Mets a stalwart behind the plate, and someone who could control the pitching game while being a valuable asset at the dish.
In 2018, he has clubbed 24 homers and driven in 68 RBI in 494 plate appearances and has a triple slash of .233/.346/.458 to go with a 2.9 bWAR.
New York’s infield is likely mostly set for 2019, but catcher remains the biggest question mark. Around baseball, catching is rather thin and the Mets have an opportunity to get themselves one of the better catching talents in Grandal.
If they strikeout on him, another name is Wilson Ramos who is a free agent this winter, but too has had his difficulties with staying healthy in recent years.
At the end of the day, the Mets need to seriously consider non-tendering d’Arnaud, but even if they don’t, bringing in someone like Grandal is important to ensure you don’t go into another season with d’Arnaud as the first string catcher only to see him get hurt again.
What say you, Mets fans? Should New York cut ties with d’Arnaud and pursue someone like Grandal?