Mets Sign Henry Blanco

It’s not yet official, but it’s as good as done — the Mets have signed Henry Blanco to a $1.5M contract, pending a physical.

Hat tip to MetsBlog.

Even though the agreement is in place, and Blanco is on his way to New York for a physical as I type this, there is still a part of me that is absolutely terrified that the deal falls through — so I likely won’t sleep until I see the official press release on Maybe it’s because the Yorvit Torrealba debacle still gives me nightmares. That was, after all, the last time the Mets were this close to landing a catcher with outstanding framing skills since Charlie O’Brien.

Because really, how many outstanding defensive backup catchers are out there? And particularly, ones who can hit in the .210 – .230 range? The Yankees of course had Jose Molina, but they set the standard at every position. With Blanco, the Mets are equal to the World Champions in regard to at least one roster spot.

What’s really puzzling is how the Mets were able to nab the 38-year-old backstop for only $1.5M — a mere pittance for someone with a career .658 OPS. Once again Omar Minaya sprinkles some magic dust into the eyes of an unwitting free agent, and connives him into signing a bargain-basement contract.

In addition to the Blanco news, the Mets also made official the signing of first baseman and “Phillie for life” Chris Coste, who also can catch a little. With Coste’s powerful righthanded bat platooning with Daniel Murphy at first base, Henry Blanco backing up the catching position, Alex Cora set as the utility infielder, and Elmer Dessens on the brink of re-signing, the Mets have managed to fill every vital hole BEFORE the winter meetings begin. Well done!

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Pete M December 3, 2009 at 9:29 pm
    How come no one talks about the possibility that the Mets are done shopping at catcher?
  2. murph December 3, 2009 at 11:06 pm
    “You have to have a catcher because if you don’t you’re likely to have a lot of passed balls.”
    – Casey Stengel

    So we’ve got that to look forward to.

  3. gary s. December 4, 2009 at 1:56 am
    truly sad…i hope ticket season holders leave citicavern by the thousands in 2010..
  4. isuzudude December 4, 2009 at 10:20 am
    Funny stuff, murph.

    I think the majority of us would say that Blanco should project to collect about 150 ABs in 2010 – anything more than that and we’re likely looking at a worse season than what we just saw in ’09. With $1.5M salary, that means the Mets will be paying a .228 career hitter $10,000 per AB. Or, if we are to agree Blanco shouldn’t be making any more than about 40 starts in ’10, that means he’ll be making $37,500 per start. So every time he squats behind the dish, he can buy a family member a new car!

    And now it’s all but assured the Mets are going to break the bank and sign Bengie Molina, as I highly doubt they brought Blanco in to backup Omir Santos. So it’s once again plainly evident Omar and company have learned zilch from getting burnt by handing out bloated contracts to over-the-hill veterans in the past. This is the end of the line for me. I was a staunch Omar defender through all the collapses and injuries, but I’ve seen enough. He’s obviously clueless and getting worse, and I’m officially jumping on the Fire Minaya bandwagon.

    I guess the silver lining amongst all this ineptness is that, by this time next year, we should have a brand new manager and GM, and, whom ever gets the jobs, I’m sure will be more competent than the two nincompoops currently in those positions. No pain, no gain, right?

  5. Timo December 4, 2009 at 5:59 pm
    These signing should give me plenty of opportunity to get 2010 Mets tickets for a dollar like I could have in 2009 (at the end of the season). A dollar to walk around Citi field and read about Brooklyn Dodger history sound perfect to me. I may even start watching “Grey’s Anatomy” with my wife because that would be much less painful than watching the hapless Mets.
  6. isuzudude December 10, 2009 at 1:02 pm
    Apparently Blanco’s contract has been adjusted from $1.5M to $750k due to news reagrding the (questionable) health of Blanco’s throwing shoulder. Although that price is much more reasonable, why in the world the Mets would be so haphazard in giving a guarenteed contract to a 38 year old with health issues is beyond me.