Tag: yorvit torrealba

Catcher: Now What?

You know the saying, “be careful what you wish for — you just may get it” ?

We all wished the Mets would fail in their attempt to sign Bengie Molina, and our prayers were answered. But, now who will be the backstop?

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Mets NOT Interested in Catcher

doumitRemarkably, there is a catcher on the market that does not draw the interest of the New York Mets.

According to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pirates are shopping catcher Ryan Doumit, and fielding offers from several teams, most notably the Blue Jays.

To Kovacevic’s knowledge, however, the Mets are NOT one of those teams.

Doumit battled wrist and back injuries in 2009, appearing in only 75 games. He is a switch-hitting, offensive-minded catcher with some pop and a hard-nosed approach to the game but below-average skills behind the plate. He can play 1B and the outfield, but at those positions his offensive prowess is not as impressive — in that way he reminds me a bit of Robert Fick: not enough bat to play a corner, not enough glove to be a regular backstop. Still, he’s a nice guy to have on the bench and mix in at all three positions — but the Mets are already set with a backup catcher, and that’s where he adds the most value.

In related news, Troy Renck believes the Mets may be pursuing Yorvit Torrealba, who reportedly has moved beyond the grievance filed against the team in 2007.

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Free Agent Evaluation: Catchers

Despite already having a competent backup in Omir Santos, the Mets have signed two backup catchers — Chris Coste and Henry Blanco — and are in the market for a starting backstop. We know Omar Minaya has his eye on Bengie Molina, but he’s not the only one out there. Let’s go through the top targets.

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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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