The Mets need a catcher.
To quote our first manager, Casey Stengel, “you have to have a catcher, because if you don’t you’re likely to have a lot of passed balls.”
The Mets have a team option and could bring Wilson Ramos back for the 2021 season. I say we go our separate ways. He somehow managed to stay healthy his entire time here. Let’s be thankful for small miracles, try and forget how disastrous his 2020 season was and move on.
You know Ramos’ season was bad when you had Met fans clamoring for Tomás Nido to become the starting catcher.
That’s actually a fitting segue into our next discussion topic…
Ignore my last lame joke. I like Tomás Nido. But is he the answer? I think he’s a fine backup option.
Ali Sanchez? I think his ceiling at the major league level is Tomás Nido.
Basically, what we are asking here is, “do we have anyone who can hold down the starting job until Francisco Alvarez is ready?”
That’s another good segue…
As opposed to the 2019 off-season where we would have had to give the Marlins an arm and a leg for JT Realmuto, this time we’ll only have to part with a ton of money.
Enter Steve Cohen. All signs point to the billionaire taking control of the Mets this fall. Ton of money will be coming off the Mets books. Will Cohen want to make a splash and bring the game’s best catcher to Queens?
Like we discussed previously, Realmuto, at the bare minimum, is going to want a deal that exceeds Joe Mauer‘s extension with the Twins. (184 million.)
Speaking of Joe Mauer, if you compare his first seven seasons to Realmuto’s, you’ll find that Mauer was considerably more productive. Realmuto is 30 years old. How did the end of that deal work out for Minnesota?
Again, Realmuto is the best catcher in baseball right now. But how many good catchers are there in 2020? 4? 5?
But, I’m not going to count Cohen’s money. If the price tag isn’t an issue, then why not? Realmuto is adept at controlling the running game and blocking pitches. Robo umps might make his sub par framing a non issue. I’d certainly take his offensive production.
Lately, it seems like the consensus regarding JT Realmuto among Mets fans is, “we don’t need Realmuto, sign James McCann.” McCann has certainly earned the right to become an everyday catcher, which may put him out of the White Sox’ price range.
What if, for some reason, McCann becomes unavailable this off-season? Remember there is only a handful of good catchers around the league right now. This is who we’d have to choose from.
Here’s what I’m proposing.
TRADE FOR KIEBERT RUIZ.
If you’ve been watching the NLCS this week, you’ve probably noticed a few things. A player the Mets released after giving him a few million dollars, (Travis d’Arnaud) is coming up big for the Atlanta Braves.
Also, Will Smith has been behind the plate every game for the Dodgers.
What’s interesting about that, the Dodgers have a highly regarded catching prospect in Kiebert Ruiz.
The switch hitting catcher is LA’s second ranked prospect, which is no small feat.
Ruiz’ defense is steadily improving, and he makes a ton of contact while rarely striking out. He has a level swing which results in line drives at a very impressive rate.
Given that the Mets need a center fielder and multiple rotation options, I would explore the trade market on the catching front.
Is Ruiz someone the Dodgers would want to deal? Remains to be seen, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Imagine Ruiz pans out at the major league level, while one of the game’s best catching prospects continues to progress in the minors?
Now we’re talking!