Scratch one Mets catching option

Third-string backup catcher Rob Johnson opted for free agency after being removed from the Mets’ 40-man roster, ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin reported today.

Kelly Shoppach

Kelly Shoppach, seen here in a 2011 photo taken by Keith Allison, may not have impressed the Mets front office enough during his time in New York this season.

Johnson appeared in 17 major league games, where he batted .250 (13-for-52) with two doubles and four RBI. He missed the end of the season with a torn ligament in his left thumb.

Johnson’s biggest virtue was that he was not Mike Nickeas. And while I’m sure Mr. Nickeas is a very pleasant and hard-working individual, he’s shown very few signs of being a capable major league hitter.

The more interesting item in Rubin’s story is this:

The Mets will consider re-signing [Kelly] Shoppach because his likely 2013 salary would match the organization’s spending capability, but team officials were not enamored with Shoppach and are first expected to investigate other options.

So, who would you like to see Sandy Alderson bring in to handle the catching duties in 2013?

About Paul

NY Mets enthusiast, toy collector, amateur gardener, Christian. I like to take pictures & write things.

Posted on October 17, 2012, in New York Mets and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. The Mets can’t afford anyone decent and are probably at least six players away from contending, likely more. So, even if the Mets could land the best catcher in the league, it wouldn’t make much difference.

    Rob Johnson is going free agent? Ha. I’ll start the bidding at five cents.

    At this point, the object is to hope some teams think at least some of the Mets’ pitching prospects are worth something–guys like Mejia and Familia and McHugh. Because the only one who’s really worth anything is Harvey (and maybe Hefner). Find some suckers who will take Mejia, etc., and get back some decent bats in return. And, if no one thinks much of those guys, the Mets will be spinning their wheels for another half dozen years.

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    • Mejia and Familia are probably the typical over-hyped Mets prospects. Just about every team seems to have a couple of guys with live arms who haven’t quite mastered the art of pitching. McHugh is probably a Triple-A guy, but maybe he can put it all together and be the next Dillon Gee.

      I’d be surprised if trading them brings back anything besides another team’s question marks or disappointments. But maybe the Mets will get lucky and get somebody that could benefit from a change of scenery.

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  2. I think, with catchers, hitting is the LAST thing you should consider. That’s actually the main reason Nickeas doesn’t cut it. He actually seems to be a better hitter than catcher, so I think his only virtue is salary. It’s also why Thole is a good #1. He’s a good catcher, pitchers love pitching to him–batting be damned.

    So I really don’t think it much matters who gets the backup job. I’m sure there’s an organizational guy who can get the job done. You’re only filling time until Plawecki is ready anyway. I say give Lucas May a chance. Or bring back Paulino. He should be free again. In 69, Grote (and, mind you, I think Grote was the best defensive catcher in Mets history–Thole’s no threat there) hit .252, Dyer .257, and JC Martin .209. I know the 2012 catchers weren’t even that “good” with the stick but, point is, catchers don’t have to be.

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    • Thole seems more like a guy you keep around because he works well with R.A. Dickey. I don’t see him as a number one catcher – especially on a bad team – because he has not really shown much leadership. Also, he took major steps backward offensively and defensively after suffering that concussion early in the year.

      Also, considering the overall state of the 2012 Mets offense, I don’t think you can afford to write off any positions as “defense-only” spots going forward.

      That said, the free agent catching market is pretty depressing and any players available through trades are likely to be just as uninspiring or cost-prohibitive in terms of talent needed to get them. I’d just as soon see Sandy Alderson bring back the Shoppach/Thole tandem for another year and focus on the outfield and bullpen, where upgrades might be easier to achieve.

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  3. In other news, I see Eddie Yost passed away. Rest In Peace, Eddie.

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