With Baltimore not offering Matt Wieters a qualifying offer, the New York Mets could jump in once the eight-year veteran hits the open market.
Last season, New York Mets‘ catchers ranked second-to-last in the on-base plus slugging percentage category while baserunners stole 135 (most in MLB) bases off them.
So, beyond signing Yoenis Cespedes, a formidable backstop is an absolute need thanks to the fact that Travis d’Arnaud, Rene Rivera, and Kevin Plawecki were so insufficient on both sides of the ball.
A substantial yet harmonious addition to the position would enable general manager Sandy Alderson to fill one of his significant holes.
According to Jon Heyman, four-time All-Star catcher Matt Wieters will not be offered the $17.2 million qualifying offer by the Baltimore Orioles. This will likely lead to the termination of his tenure with the team that drafted him with the fifth pick in the 2007 amateur draft. All signs point to him becoming a free agent by 5 p.m. ET.
Wieters and Wilson Ramos are unquestionably the top catchers on the market but with Ramos having his stellar year (.307/.354/.496) cut short due to surgery to repair an ACL tear, he won’t be ready until perhaps mid-June.
With that, Wieters — who owns the fifth-highest defensive WAR among catchers since 2010 — is perceived as the top free agent at the position.
The switch-hitter slashed .242/.302/.409 in his All-Star campaign a year ago and recorded his lowest on-base plus slugging percentage since 2013 yet still hit 17 homers to coincide with 66 RBI.
When compared to Ramos, the two-time gold glove award winner had three defensive runs saved in 2016 while Ramos managed -2, but there are other aspects that may assure you that Ramos is the better option notwithstanding his knee injury.
For starters, like Heyman mentions, Wieters would reasonably endeavor a contract relative to the one received by Brian McCann and Russell Martin. Both earned five-year deals worth $85 million and $82 million, respectively.
If there’s one thing the Metropolitans don’t need, is a high-priced injury-plagued veteran especially when they’re coming off a year in which they had more players on the disabled list that any team should possess.
Wieters has played in a mere 225 games over the last three seasons while Ramos — who has caught the fifth-most games in the NL over the last two years — suffered one freak injury a year ago.
Health aside, Ramos provided the highest Win Probability Added (WPA) — a sabermetric statistic based on how much their action increased their team’s odds of winning — when compared to Wieters and considerably higher than any of New York’s current options.
Both will undoubtedly assist in making the Mets an all-around force as a team come 2017. With a healthy rotation, a Cespedes return, and a consistent threat behind the plate, Terry Collins has all the pieces to get his squad into the postseason for the third straight year for the first time in franchise history.