Tag: jose molina

Henry Blanco is a Backup

henry-blanco-foldedAccording to Mets GM Omar Minaya, Henry Blanco is a backup catcher.

And you thought Minaya didn’t know things.

Unfortunately, Minaya also announced that the Mets’ starting catching position would be a competition between Omir Santos and Josh Thole, both of whom are also backup catchers. So maybe Omar only knows some things.

If this is really the way the Mets think about the backstop position, it might have made sense to sign veteran free-agent Mike Sweeney and have him platoon with Mike Jacobs behind the plate. Both Mikes started their careers as catchers, both would be at least as good defensively as Santos/Thole, and both would have a better chance of providing offensive production that approaches the best that Jerry Grote ever mustered.

It might be different if either Thole or Santos were remarkable defensively — you could live with substandard offense. But if you’re going to hit like Charlie O’Brien, you darn well better catch like Charlie O’Brien.

My apologies to the Kool-Aid drinking Mets fans who believe Thole will hit better than .240, and/or think Santos is going to duplicate his surprising offensive “prowess” of 2009.

At this point the Mets may as well sign Jose Molina and make him the starter. He’ll at least give them a strength on one side of the ball … and it’ll give the Mets an excuse to apply Tony LaRussa’s strategy of hitting the pitcher eighth.

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Mets Sign Henry Blanco

henry-blanco-catch
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 Mets.com. 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!

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