Listen, I have an open mind on new Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen, but if reports I am seeing are true about a Mets possible free agent target, then we are in for the same old, same old.
The first time I saw a story linking the Mets to free agent catcher Martin Maldonado, I said to myself, “nah, can’t be. The guy can’t hit.” But now a second report in the New York Post (I can’t remember where I saw the first) says the Mets are showing “strong interest” in Maldonado. And now I am concerned. Why? Because the man can’t hit.
Maldonado is a career .220 hitter. What’s that you say, maybe he has a good on-base percentage? Nope, .289. Oh, so he is all power? Nope, 51 homers in eight seasons. Well, at least he doesn’t strike out very often? Wrong again — 480 in 1767 at bats, so he strikes out in about a quarter of his at bats. But he’s young, right, so there is room for improvement? Nope, he’ll turn 33 next August. Okay, so he’ll come cheaply, obviously. He made almost $4 million last season and will probably want a raise.
To his credit, Martin Maldonado appears to be a good defensive catcher, winning a Gold Glove in 2017. Having such a catcher might have been a good idea a few seasons ago when the Mets starters were young and needed guidance. And while they are still relatively young, they all have several seasons under their belts, so they pretty much know what they are doing on the mound by now.
With a questionable lineup, the Mets do not need an automatic out taking up space. So let’s pass on Martin Maldonado and go after guy who can catch and also swing the bat at least a little bit. Really, is he any better than what they have now?