The New York Mets’ catching situation isn’t ideal, to say the least. It should be no surprise that they’ve expressed interest in a backup.
The New York Mets‘ current catching corps consists of Wilson Ramos, Tomas Nido, and Rene Rivera. Unfortunately, Rivera isn’t a major league player at his age anymore. Nido is a disaster offensively. Meanwhile, Ramos has a long injury history.
It should go without saying that the Mets could still use a quality backup backstop. According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, they’re kicking the tires on one.
Mets, A’s and a few other teams have checked in on free agent catcher Russell Martin. He’s turned down a few offers as he prioritizes a family situation, as @Joelsherman1 1st mentioned. But he’d still like to play.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 28, 2020
Russell Martin isn’t the star he used to be, but he’s still a quality player. In 2019, Martin hit just .220/.337/.330 in 83 games. That’s not good, but it’s significantly better than Nido’s .191/.231/.316.
Martin still has it defensively. Martin was worth 6.2 FRAA in 2019, which is better than Nido’s 5.1.
Martin isn’t an amazing backup option that should be playing every day, but he’s better than the alternatives. That much is abundantly clear.
The biggest issue is that Martin wants to do everything he can to make his family happy. So much so that he’s already turned down a number of other offers.
Martin is from Toronto. He was a hero when he played for the Blue Jays and it’s likely he wants to get as close to his home as he can. New York offers an opportunity to be closer to Toronto than other teams courting Martin.
However, it’s possible that Martin wants something more. It’s possible the only team he’d play for is the Blue Jays. If that’s true, this is all moot.
If it’s not, then it stands to reason that the Mets would have as much a chance as anyone given their proximity to Toronto.