The New York Post has been reporting the past couple of days that the Mets are interested in acquiring catcher Ramon Hernandez from the Rockies. And I ask: why?
I understand the need for more right handed hitting on the team. But Hernandez is 36-years-old and is currently on the disabled list. When he was healthy he was hitting .215 with four homers and 15 RBIs in 27 games.
He signed a two-year contract before the season that pays him $3.2 million per year. The Mets would reportedly be willing to take on most of his salary. That means the players potentially traded for him would not be top-notch prospects, which is the only bit of good news out of this.
But why bother at all? First of all, he is 36 — one year past the traditional age that players begin a swift decline. His performance thus far this season has shown that the decline has already begun.
It is safe to assume the Mets will still be on a limited budget next season. Why waste $3.2 million of that limited budget on an old backup catcher?
But here is the biggest reason — it appears Hernandez would not start over Josh Thole (he would likely get some starts against tough left handers). Teams usually use their backup catcher as the last pinch hitter; he must be saved in case the starting catcher goes down. So how much action would Hernandez really see off the bench?
Speaking during the Mets broadcast on Sunday, Sandy Alderson said he is wary about bringing in a catcher in the middle of the season for fear it could damage the pitching staff. The Mets have a good thing going right now — why mess it up for someone who won’t make that much of a difference?