Speaking Monday at the GM meetings in Arizona, Sandy Alderson said the Mets will look “internally” to improve their catching situation. They need to look externally as well.
Unfortunately, Travis d’Arnaud has shown that he is not the catcher of the future for this team. He cannot stay healthy, and even when he is, he is not very good offensively or behind the plate. The only internal candidate is Kevin Plawecki, and he has thus far been a disappointment.
Alderson was ready to go outside the organization at the trading deadline and deal for Jonathan Lucroy. Why should now be any different than then?
The Mets could make another run at Lucroy, who will be a free agent after the season. Maybe the Rangers will demand less than the Brewers.
A potential free agent option might be Matt Wieters. The former top prospect bounced back this season from two injury-plagued, sub-par years. He hit just .243 but swatted 17 homers for the Orioles. He was not given a qualifying offer, which means he would not cost the Mets a draft pick. He accepted the qualifying offer last season.
Wieters has won two Gold Gloves, and it would nice to see some competent work behind the plate in Flushing for the first time in a while. Plus, he is still only 30 years old, so he likely has some good years left.
Wieters will likely command $10 million to $12 million per year, probably on a three-year deal. That might be too much for the Mets if Yoenis Cespedes decides to stay on a mega deal. If not, that money would fit quite well into the Mets budget.
Is it concerning that the Orioles did not make Wieters a qualifying offer? Do they know something we don’t? Possibly, but it is more likely they were afraid he would take the offer again, and he is just not worth $17.2 million. That doesn’t mean he is not worth a little less.
The Mets will need to make some serious improvements if they lose Cespedes. Catching is one place they can do it. So do not put much stock in Alderson’s “internal” statement. He is very good at misdirection.