OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 24: Bruce Maxwell #13 of the Oakland Athletics kneels in protest next to teammate Mark Canha #20 duing the singing of the National Anthem prior to the start of the game against the Texas Rangers at Oakland Alameda Coliseum on September 24, 2017 in Oakland, California. New York Mets
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The New York Mets are on the verge of signing veteran free agent catcher Bruce Maxwell. He’s best known for kneeling during the national anthem in 2017. 

According to Tim Healey of Newsday, the New York Mets are on the verge of signing veteran catcher Bruce Maxwell to a minor league deal. The deal is pending a physical and COVID test. Upon completing his physical and testing, Maxwell will be added to the Mets’ 60-man player pool.

Maxwell is best known for taking a knee during the national anthem in 2017. He was the only Major League player to do so. Not long after that, Maxwell was wrongfully arrested on charges of assault with a deadly weapon. The chargers were later dropped, though Maxwell was charged with drunken disorderly conduct for shouting at the arresting officers.

Maxwell last played in MLB in 2018 with the Oakland Athletics. His numbers had fallen off a cliff offensively and the team cut him at the conclusion of the season. Since then, Maxwell has been playing in the Mexican league. He was dominant in 2019, hitting .325/.407/.559. However, his bat isn’t his strong suit.

Where Maxwell will make his money with the Mets is on defense. In 2017 and 2018 combined, Maxwell caught 24 of 56 base stealers. His 42.8% caught stealing rate would have ranked second in MLB, behind only J.T. Realmuto. Maxwell should help the Mets limit base stealers at a higher rate, something Wilson Ramos and Tomas Nido have struggled to do.

Maxwell will likely be the Mets’ fourth catcher for 2020. It’s likely that Ramos, Nido, and Rene Rivera are ahead of him in the pecking order.

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