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New York Mets Catcher trade ideas: Finding a suitable replacement

Seattle Mariners, Robinson Cano

The New York Mets are off to a strong start in 2018, pacing the National League in wins with 10 so far in the young season.

New York also ranks second in the senior circuit with a +24 run differential entering play on Friday and are riding an eight-game winning streak.

However, the Mets already have a glaring hole on the team’s roster.

Travis d’Arnaud is currently on the disabled list, as is his backup, Kevin Plawecki.

MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo tweeted the following on Wednesday:

Meanwhile, Newsday’s Tim Healey tweeted the following on Friday morning:

The Mets then announced the move to place both backstops on the disabled list in a tweet from the team’s official Twitter account on Friday afternoon.

It’s not the most ideal news for the franchise. Despite neither d’Arnaud or Plawecki being able to establish themselves as full-time starters in the Majors, the duo gave the Mets options behind the plate.

Now New York’s options include Tomas Nido, and his career 11 plate appearances in the Majors, Jose Lobaton and little else.

With that in mind, adding another catching option to the mix certainly makes sense, in fact, it’s bordering on a necessity if both d’Arnaud and Plawecki miss extended time.

The Mets could opt for a short-term option to serve as a stop gap until the aforementioned duo are healthy (whenever that is) or go for a more long-term fit.

Considering neither d’Arnaud or Plawecki has overly impressed in the Majors, acquiring a younger backstop to serve as the starter for the foreseeable future shouldn’t be out of the question.

Here are the New York Mets’ two best trade options.

(All contract information via Spotrac.)

(Also, this is all speculative, mind you.)

Wilson Ramos, Tampa Bay Rays

2018 fWAR: -0.3

2018 Salary: $10.5 million

Ramos hasn’t exactly been the same catcher he was with the Nats in a Tampa Bay uniform, logging just a .692 OPS in 261 plate appearances after registering a .743 output in his time in the nation’s capital.

Despite his down offensive numbers, he did mash left-handed pitching last season, with an 111 wRC+, a .335 wOBA and an .809 OPS against southpaw with the Rays in 2017.

Defensively, he hasn’t returned to his Washington form either. With the Nationals, Ramos turned in a DRS of 10 or more in three different seasons, and routinely posted positive rSB numbers.

New York’s farm system isn’t exactly deep after promoting both Ahmed Rosario and utilizing Dominic Smith in 2017. Still, Ramos could conceivably expendable in Tampa Bay where the Rays are already 3-9 and have Jesus Sucre laying in wait to absorb the lion’s share of plate appearances.

Relief pitcher prospect Gerson Bautista, who MLB.com’s MLB Pipeline ranks as the Mets’ 29th-best prospect, could be a fit in a hypothetical trade.

The 22-year-old flamethrower is currently pitching for Double-A Binghamton, where he’s yet to allow a run or walk and has eight strikeouts in three innings so far in 2018.

James McCann, Detroit Tigers

2018 fWAR: -0.1

2018 Salary: $2.375 million

If the Mets prefer a slightly cheaper option from a financial standpoint to Ramos, James McCann may be the best option.

Like the ex-Nat considering he demolishes lefties.

McCann owns a lifetime 138 wRC+, a .378 wOBA and a .252 ISO versus southpaws. If you’re more into traditional stats, he’s produced the following metrics against left-handed opponents: a .351 on-base percentage, a .542 slugging percentage and an .893 OPS.

Unlike Ramos, McCann is controllable, with two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining.

He doesn’t hit righties much (career 55 wRC+), but can be a defensive asset when on form. Only Jonathan Lucroy and Wilson Contreras have a higher Def (defensive runs above average) metric among backstops than McCann’s 1.7 number early this season.

What’s more, the Detroit backstop’s +2 DRS is bested only by Russell Martin, Yan Gomes and Tucker Barnhart.

He’s more of a long-term fit than a rental, but the New York Mets could certainly use the stability behind the dish.

A hypothetical trade based around standout fielder Luis Guillorme would make sense for both sides.

With Jake Rogers the future and John Hicks on hand as a potential bridge to Rogers, McCann isn’t necessarily a piece for the future in the Motor City.

Trading him for Guillorme and a lower level, lottery-ticket type prospect would give Detroit a middle-infielder to immediately replace Jose Iglesias, who himself is a trade candidate.

FREE: Sign up for Know Hitter’s FREE MLB Trade Guide breaking down 132 players who could be traded, including 42 former All-Stars and some of the game’s most prized prospects

Next Article: Why the New York Mets are MLB’s most fascinating team

Also: If your team needs a SS this July, the trade market could be filled with plenty of rental options

Additionally: I was on a podcast

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